ATVs. Credit: Mushing. Credit: Mud. Credit: Moose. Credit:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is the Borough selling the land?
  • I’ve been hearing about Heritage Park. What was/is that?
  • Don’t we need more land for sale to accommodate the new Airforce residents in North Pole?
  • What about Air Quality?
  • How many people use this land?
  • If the land is not sold, what next?

Why is the Borough selling the land?

The Borough was deeded land from the State to provide: “i) short-term revenue through leases and sales, ii) long term revenue by increasing the tax base, and iii) land for municipal (public) purposes” (see this page). The Peede Tracts land was aquired by the Borough in ca. 1981. The Borough Land Management department is required to provide a list of parcels for sale to the Assembly at least every two years. The Assembly is not obligated to sell the land presented to them, but may instead opt to “Retain it for public purpose”.

I’ve been hearing about Heritage Park. What is/was that?

In 1976, 2,600 acres of BLM land was leased (at no cost) by the Borough to create an outdoor educational resource for the School District. This was called Heritage Park. Its boundaries were the four-section square currently owned by the State (see map) and abutting the Peede Tract (currently nominated for sale). Up until the 90s, Heritage Park was used by local schools for camping, nature studies, and winter survival training. A Peede Pond Nature Trail was put in by UAF students in 1982. In the late 90s the name was changed to Heritage Forest, and the forest was additionally used as a demonstration site for State Forestry. The long use of this area by the Borough for educational purposes adds to the current value of the land as a public resource.

Don’t we need more land for sale to accommodate the new Airforce residents in North Pole?

A recent (May 15) query of the professional Real Estate database listed 673 acres of Land/Lots for Sale in the “Badger and Rural North Pole” area. This does not include land in the City of North Pole. There is plenty of land already for sale, and adding this Borough land will only depress the market for existing sellers.

What about Air Quality?

The current zoning of the parcels for sale is “GU”. If this land is sold, it could be subdivided and developed as housing. The smoke from these additional wood stoves would contribute to the air quality problem in this part of the Borough. However, the new houses would be outside the EPA-determined Non-Attainment Area (map) and therefore outside any of the upcoming air quality control measures. Selling this land which is so close to the Non-Attainment Area, with risk that new houses would be built there, would undermine the Borough’s own efforts to improve air quality.

How many people use this land?

Based on a conservative estimate of a hundred person-visits per week, year round, we estimate that there are at least five thousand visits per year. Just stop by the Peede/Brock informal car park on a week or weekend night in the summer and see the large numbers of ATVs passing by! Or listen for the sound of snow machines on a winter weekend. The real number of users may be two or even five times as many.

If the land is not sold, what next?

Many residents would like to see the area become a formal Recreation Area, with designated motorized and non-motorized trails. Discussions are underway with the Borough concerning possible futures for the Borough land.

Please contact us to suggest corrections or if you have additional useful information.