Federal land management agencies in Alaska (the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service), together with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), pioneered the effort to develop a multi-agency long range transportation plan (LRTP) for Federal lands in the state. This plan facilitates the strategic identification and prioritization of transportation infrastructure and systems needed.

This LRTP helps Federal land managers and the ADOT&PF make better funding decisions for transportation facilities that provide access to and within public lands in Alaska. This document does not identify specific projects for implementation or suggest changes in the way Federal lands resources are managed. Rather, it serves as a tool to collectively engage the various agencies on how they can work together to set statewide transportation priorities and leverage funds to meet transportation needs for Alaska’s Federal lands.

Dalton Highway

This regional, multi-agency approach to long range transportation planning is the first of its kind, and serves as a demonstration project for region-level transportation planning. It also brings Alaska Federal lands into compliance with Federal legislation requiring all Federal land management agencies to conduct long range transportation planning, and put into place a defensible structure for sound transportation planning and decision making.

Although often overlooked, Alaska’s multimodal transportation system provides critical links to connect local residents and visitors with their Federal lands and, in many cases, provides critical links for inter-village travel and subsistence use. Understanding the connection between transportation and conservation, the Alaska Federal land management agencies have established mission, goals, and objectives to serve as benchmarks for evaluating improvements to the transportation system as part of this LRTP. Together with an understanding of existing transportation infrastructure deficiencies in the state of Alaska, this plan enables agencies, individually and collectively, to make better decisions regarding the most critical needs.

At a time when resource and infrastructure funding is scarce, this LRTP provides leaders with a toolkit to use in working with local communities, native tribes, and other Federal land management agencies, many of whom could potentially contribute funding or in-kind services to advance priority projects.

In addition to those mentioned previously, the LRTP brings multiple benefits to Alaska’s Federal lands.

Other LRTP Benefits

  • Enables Alaska Federal land managers to make informed decisions based on long-term transportation mission, goals, objectives, and performance measures.
  • Provides a holistic and long-term view of transportation in relation to core operations and other programs and priorities such as asset management, deferred maintenance, resource protection, visitor services, and the visitor experience.
  • Enables Alaska Federal land managers to direct funding to the most beneficial and highest priority transportation projects.
  • Enables Alaska Federal land managers to synchronize transportation planning with individual unit-level travel management and resource management plans, and other planning efforts in small communities, tribal governments, other Federal land management agencies, and stakeholder agencies outside Federal land boundaries.
  • Provides current data on multimodal transportation issues and needs across the region.
  • Provides an opportunity for Alaska Federal land units to partner and discuss areas of mutual interest with the public and regional entities such as minimizing carbon footprint, alternative transportation systems, and transportation systems linkages.
  • Provides Alaska Federal land managers with a better picture of future transportation needs and information for discussion regarding reauthorization of Congressional transportation legislation.

 

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