Alaska park wants to restore views of 1804 battlefield

  • By The Associated Press
  • Friday, February 17, 2017 10:45am
  • News

SITKA — Sitka National Historical Park in southeast Alaska is looking to get the public’s support to move forward with a project to restore an area of the park that was the site of a battlefield more than 200 years ago.

The 1804 Tlingit-Russian battlefield on a peninsula near the mouth of Indian River has since been overgrown with trees and shrubs. The national park is now looking to clear out the brush to give visitors a better view of the water from the historic site, The Sitka Sentinel reported.

The battlefield restoration work falls under a park mandate to preserve and interpret the site.

Brinnen Carter, the park’s chief of resources, spoke about the restoration plan Wednesday at the first of two public sessions on the proposal.

“The fort and the ships that were moored off of Cannon Island were visible to each other during the battle and before the battle,” Carter said. “If there’s not really a visual connection through those two areas you have no way to practically imagine there areships out there. If you’re traveling out there on the water you want to be able to see the fort site for the same reason.”

The park used ground-penetrating radar last summer to determine the exact location of the Tlingit fort to be able to clear the view of the beach from there, Cater said.

“We’re very interested in authenticity,” he said. “We’re not interested in creating anything out there that wasn’t.”

Most of the smaller spruce and hemlock being removed between the fort site and the beach have only appeared since the 1950s. The trees that would be cleared are all from the 1970s, Carter said.

“In no case would we go into the area which is older growth,” he said. “Any opening or clearing would all occur in an area where the trees are from 1975 to present.”

Sheila Finkenbinder, who attended Wednesday’s presentation, said she was pleased with the plans for the restoration project.

“I love the idea,” she said, adding that it is frustrating not being able to see the ocean from the fort site.

The project has funding for the project this year, Carter said.

Another public meeting is scheduled at the park’s visitor center next week.

“We want to be sure the public is aware of it and in general agrees with both the process we’re taking to get the project done and the goals of the project,” Carter said.

More in News

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014.
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of March. 19

The FBI Anchorage Field Office is seeking information about this man in relation to a Wednesday bank robbery in Anchorage, the agency announced Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information regarding the bank robbery can contact the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441 or Tips can be submitted anonymously.  (FBI)
FBI seeks info in Anchorage bank robbery

The robbery took place at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kevin Maier
Sustainable Alaska: Climate stories, climate futures

The UAS Sustainability Committee is hosting a series of public events in April…

Reps. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Battle lines for education funding boost get clearer

$800 increase over two years OKd by House committee, Senate proposing $1,348 two-year increase

A call for a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature to cast a vote that would reject recently-approved salary increases for legislators and top executive branch officials is made by State House Speaker Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, during a press conference Tuesday. Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, rejected the joint session in a letter to Tilton on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
House efforts to nix legislative pay raises hit Senate roadblock

Call for a joint session rejected by upper chamber, bills to overturn pay hikes may lack support

A simulated photo shows the tailings stack and other features of Hecla Greens Creek Mine under the most aggressive of four alternatives for expanding the mine in an environmental impact assessment published Thursday by the U.S Forest Service. The tailings stack is modestly to drastically smaller in the other alternatives. The public comment period for the study is from March 24 to May 8. (U.S. Forest Service)
New study digs into alternatives for Greens Creek Mine expansion

Public comment starts Friday on four options that could extend mine’s life up to 40 years

This image shows the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament's logo. The club is looking for submissions of logos for the historic tournament's 75th anniversary. The winning artist will receive a $250 prize. (Screenshot)
Take your shot at a Gold Medal logo

Upcoming milestone prompts call for art.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, March 23, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The Juneau School Board recently announced the three finalists for the district’s superintendent position: Frank Hauser, Carlee Simon and Thom Peck. The district is hosting a public forum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27 at Thunder Mountain High School for students, parents and staff to meet the three candidates. Additionally, the trio will be interviewed by the school board on Tuesday, March 28. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
School district announces finalists for superintendent post

Public forum and interviews scheduled for next week.

Most Read