Community Development Projects
Transportation Alternatives ~ Lack of a cash economy, the high cost of building materials and the overall remoteness of particular regions has hindered the development of transportation corridors in the Bush. Traditional “bricks and mortar” approaches to land based transportation for cars and trucks are often inefficient solutions in a region where human populations are low and dispersed and snow machines, four-wheelers and boats are the preferred modes of travel.
With this scenario in mind, RDP studied the feasibility to construct a geotextile trail for land-based transportation. Two trails were evaluated, one between Akiak-Akiachak and another between Oscarville-Napakiak. Results revealed the Akiak-Akiachak trail as a feasible project. The report "Benefits and Costs of a Geotextile Trail" is available on our Publications page.
Sportsfishing ~ Unemployment has plagued the Bethel Census Area – 12.7 percent as of August 2006 – to the point where people no longer seek jobs. But an untapped sportfishing industry could offer relief. So RDP surveyed the region to discover the amount of money and jobs generated by the Kuskokwim and Goodnews rivers fishery. Results revealed approximately $4.5 million in direct expenditures annually that create a broader economic impact of $6.9 million and 142 jobs. The report on this project to be completed in 2007 will also be available on our publications page.
Alaska State Parks ~ Within the Prince William Sound and Resurrection Bay area are four communities affected by state park visitors – Cordova, Seward, Valdez and Whittier. To determine visitor expenditures, RDP with the Division of Parks and Outdoor Resources conducted a survey. Results are expected in 2007 and will also be available on our publications page.
Tourism Development ~ Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell and Petersburg – all in southeast Alaska – want to diversify their economies through tourism. To help with this ongoing mission, RDP has worked for three-years by sitting on the Alaska Rainforest Islands committee and developing grants. Karen Petersen, RDP program assistant based in Thorne Bay, is on the committee.
Incorporation ~ The community of Naukati on Prince of Wales Island wants to incorporate to be able to provide services such as trash and snow removal. To grease the project along, Karen Petersen, the local RDP program assistant filled out the petition for incorporation, determined a budget and brought in the boundary commission to evaluate the community. The petition failed, but the boundary commission waived the mandatory two-year wait for resubmission and the community may resubmit soon.