ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska officials are reconsidering whether special events like outdoor concerts are a responsible use of state park land, a report said.
A concert in Chugach State Park was cancelled following complaints about potential negative environmental impacts, The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.
The proposed concert at Williwaw Lakes was intended to provide an intimate, outdoor experience that would encourage conservation, said J.W. Frye, the manager for Seward-based folk band Blackwater Railroad Company.
“You get people active and in the outdoors, and they’re going to be the next generation of people out there protecting it and ensuring it’s well provided for,” Frye said.
The band expected attendance would be no more than 200 people due to the 12- to 16-mile (19- to 26-kilometer) round-trip hike to the event, Frye said.
More than a thousand people registered interest on social media for the “leave no trace” event from which packers would depart with their trash.
Some outdoor enthusiasts feared damage to the environment at the site southeast of Anchorage.
Hundreds of dancing people could destroy the fragile alpine tundra, said Mat Brunton, an outdoor environmental educator.
“There is absolutely no way that they can have an event with that many people in that area without having any sort of impact,” Brunton said.
Chugach State Park Superintendent Kurt Hensel said he will confer with the park’s citizen advisory board to identify suitable spots for future requests in recreation development zones.
“I think what this encourages is a different way of looking at the park and looking at different things we can do to get people interested,” Hensel said.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com