Butte Area Residents Civic Organization (BARCO) Priorities for Knik River Public Use Area Management as submitted to the Knik River Planning team:

1) Immediate strong and on-the-ground law enforcement to ensure safety of residents and users.

2) Immediate ban on target shooting pending the Commissioner’s determination of an area where shooting is not a threat to public safety.

3) Immediately place and maintain temporary sanitary facilities and dumpsters at the following locations: Man-Made Lake off Knik River Road, upstream and downstream access of Knik River Access, Pavilion and/or close to RS 2477 -Knik Glacier Trail access, Jim Lake Access and Mud Lake Access.

3) Create a Critical Habitat Area to include lakes, wetlands, alpine transition zones and dunes to prevent further destruction. This allows fish, waterfowl and other wildlife habitat to recover. Such a designation is based on recommendations of previous studies and findings.

4) Restore wetlands and revegetate dunes.

5) Develop a central access point for motorized users to the Public Use Area at the RS2477 Knik Glacier Trail head on State of Alaska land. This will prevent continued unauthorized use of private lands above the mean/high water line along both sides of Knik River, will protect Bodenburg Creek and its salmon and waterfowl habitat from ORV damage and harrassmentwill protect residents from noise and dust and irresponsible recreational behavior.

6) Prohibit airboats from traveling in anadromous streams, the wetlands and all lakes due to documented harassment and disturbance of waterfowl including the declining population of trumpeter swans and other wildlife. Create a horsepower limit for all watercraft and do not allow motorized boats and recreation vehicles near nesting, birthing and spawning areas.

7) Dedicate Knik River/Bodenburg Creek Access to non-motorized use. DNR owns lands on the river bank only for approx. 1.5 miles north when they pass Mat-Su Borough Lands and then join with DNR onshore property. DNR lands on the river bank adjoin private lands at the high water mark/permanent vegetation for 5 miles to the south and 1.5 mile to the north of the Knik River Bridge/Bodenburg Creek Access. DNR lands cannot be traversed during high water. 
Fourwheelers, dirt bikes and 4x4s have to trespasses on adjoining private lands to get to Jim Creek and beyond. ORVs also use this access to trespass a major Matanuska Electric power line on private property, and travel on unpaved neighborhood streets and the non-motorized pathway to visit a nearby bar or gas station. These activities add to health issues of residents from dust and noise, endanger the non-motorized public, disenfranchise residents from enjoying their homes and land and discourage visitors and residents from enjoying quiet camping or a picnic at the Knik River, taking their dogs for a walk, or just going there on a nice evening to see the sun go down in the west or “to watch the river go by.”

8) Develop a time-share schedule for motorized and non-motorized recreation, but allow existing commercial airboat tour operations to continue on a daily basis. This will benefit different users to recreate without conflict, give respite to wildlife, and allow residents to enjoy their homes and yards without nuisance noise from power boats, personal watercraft and ORVs.

We also would like for DNR to consider the comments of several residents in our group who have been thoughtfully tweaking these priorities.