I was appalled by the idea of the band Blackwater Railroad Company holding a concert in a designated wilderness zone within Chugach State Park. I have nothing against the band and applaud them trying to get people to appreciate the natural wonders right out our “back door,” but staging this event in a backcountry wilderness zone is unequivocally a poor idea.
The area where they proposed to stage the concert, Williwaw Lakes, is surrounded by tundra and wet, brushy vegetation. Having even a few dozen, let along hundreds, of people congregate in one area around the lake would leave an ugly, virtually permanent imprint on the land. And I wonder, did they consider the impact this concert would have on other park users? Can you imagine camping up there expecting solitude, only to have hundreds of people rocking out to a concert?
Maybe a solution would be to have the concert adjacent to the parking lot at Glen Alps, but please stay out of the backcountry. Finally, kudos to the park managers for putting the kibosh on this event. It’s a fine idea, but the wrong location.
— Mark Miner
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