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State will use federal trails money for deferred maintenance in parks

Alaska parks officials say federal grants aimed at improving Alaska trails will be used to address deferred maintenance on trails in the state park system.

Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation director Ricky Gease says the agency estimates a need of $4.5 million to address a backlog of maintenance.

That would take three years of available federal grant funding.

Federal grant money in past years has been split with nonprofit trails organizations and local governments.

Among current projects being funded are nordic ski trails near Soldotna and hiking or all-terrain vehicle trails near Seldovia, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Girdwood and Anchorage.

Groups apply for grants in October and receive word of awards in spring. Gease says groups have been informed that grant money will not be available next year.

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