Rehabilitate and re-route the Copper Lake trail 2013-2017
Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve proposes to improve and re-route the Copper Lake trail. The trail is located off the Nabesna Road in the north portion of the park. It provides access to subsistence moose and Dall sheep hunting opportunities in the Black Mountain area, south of Copper Lake. The existing trail traverses multiple wetlands and is in a highly degraded condition. Off Road Vehicle use and management was addressed in the 2011 Nabesna Off Road Vehicle Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The decision for the Copper Lake trail was to improve it and thereby provide one sustainable alignment that would allow users to stay on the trail and minimize off-trail impacts. This project implements that decision.
A detailed prescription for the Copper Lake trail improvement was done in 2013. It includes a re-route that moves the trail from wetlands to the Copper River floodplain, utilizing adjacent gravel terraces. Work will be accomplished using heavy equipment and hand crews.
NEPA compliance will be done through a categorical exclusion tiered to the 2011 FEIS. Consistent with NPS policy, a Wetlands Statement of Finding has been prepared.