Mat-Su Borough

There is about 200,000 acres of public land between the Little Susitna River and the Susitna River, and over three million acres on the west side of the Susitna.

PALMER — There is only limited winter access to the Fish Creek Natural Resources Management Unit, but the Mat-Su Borough recently took a step toward changing that.

The borough and the Alaska Industrial Development and Expert Authority has come together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which creates a phased feasibility analysis for potential access to the Fish Creek Natural Resources Management Unit west of the Susitna River. The plan calls for the borough to permit the construction of road and bridge across the Little Susitna River that can be used year-round to access the Fish Creek Natural Resources Management Unit.

“I am very pleased to be partnering with AIDEA on this project to unlock the remaining one-third of the Mat Valley for our residents,” borough manager John Moosey said in a release issued by the borough. “Job creation, enjoyment of our natural beauty and recreational prospects abound. It is imperative that we work with private partners to secure these great opportunities.”

This is a multiphase project. Each phase will have a separate budget determined by the groups involved in the project. The borough and AIDEA will invest $50,000 in the first phase of the project, and $100,000 with be provided by third-party investors.

“No funds will be disbursed from the designated project account unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the parties until a full balance is achieved,” according to the borough.

The AIDEA was established in 1967 by the Alaska Legislature.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy also spoke of the overall value of the project.

“The West Susitna access plan is just one more example of how Alaska is prioritizing resource development and making Alaska open for business again,” Dunleavy said in the release. “A new road across the Susitna Valley will deliver Alaskans and the state’s economy to many new opportunities. Natural gas, mining, timber, recreation and putting state land in the hands of Alaskans are just a few of the benefits that will happen when the road s built.”

This is a developing story. Continue to see frontiersman.com for more.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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