Full survey results here: TTA survey spring 2023
Thank you!!!! To everyone who filled out our survey, we appreciate learning more about our trail users and the improvements they’d like to see to Tsalteshi Trails.
Our Board of Directors is reviewing the results and will factor your responses into decisions in the months and years to come.
For now, we can answer a few of the questions/suggestions/responses:
E-Bikes: Class 1 (pedal-assist) e-bikes ARE allowed on the trails. The TTA Board felt that allowing e-bikes was a way to increase accessibility on the trails. Come ride and enjoy! (Note: Class 1 ONLY are allowed, not Class 2 or 3.)
Winter grooming app: For the 32 people who said they didn’t know we have a winter grooming app, sorry we didn’t get the message across! Tsalteshi is excited to be on Nordic Pulse! It shows when trails are groomed (single track and ski trails), when classic tracks are set, plus notes from the groomers. Check it out next winter! We think you’ll love it as much as we do.
Dog issues: Woof! Lots of thoughts about this one, and we’ll continue chewing on it. For now, we’re working on putting together a dog training workshop for trail users. Stay tuned!
Moose: No, we can’t remove moose from the trails. Installing and maintaining fencing all around Tsalteshi that would actually be effective for wildlife would be faaaaar more expensive than Tsalteshi could afford. We’ve got to enjoy the outdoors in harmony with wildlife. This year, in particular, is a learning experience for how to manage moose interactions. We’re refining procedures this year to promote the safety of trail users and moose. But the bottom line is we always need to remember we’re in the woods in Alaska, and we might not be the only creatures out there.
Events: Message received — you want more to do at Tsalteshi! We’ve got you. We’ll be announcing additional events soon. Stay tuned!
PistenBully: Expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and expensive to run… but we’re scheming in that direction. The new maintenance building is a step toward having the capacity for a PistenBully (you have to have a place to store one in order to have one).
Membership/fundraising/etc.: Several comments suggested converting more trail users into dues-paying trail members. We agree this is an area that needs work. We’re thinking of strategies to encourage more memberships. And you can help! If you’re a Tsalteshi member, please chat with other trail users about why you support Tsalteshi, and why they should, too. If you’re not a Tsalteshi member, please become one today!
Winter grooming frequency: That’s a tough one. We rely on volunteers to help groom, we only have a handful of specialized grooming snowmachines (which break down frequently) and running/maintaining them is expensive. Our commitment is to get trails groomed within 24 hours of a snowfall. This year admittedly kicked our behinds, between the massive amount of snow and how many downed trees needed to be cleared, but our groomers were downright heroic in keeping up with it this year. Realistically, at this point, we can’t promise daily grooming with the revenue we have. Our board is trying to turn around a deficit budget as it is. But we hear you that you’d like more frequent grooming.
Development projects (lighting, parking lot improvements, more trails, restrooms, etc.):
Check out our strategic plan, which outlines the TTA Board’s priorities for new development projects. The board periodically reviews the strategic plan and considers updating/reordering these priorities. Survey results will factor into those decisions. We can’t afford to do everything we’d love to do simultaneously, so we want to hear from users about what developments they want to see first/the most. Thank you for weighing in!
A couple of things to keep in mind about Tsalteshi Trails Association — we are a nonprofit organization. We are not part of a municipal parks and rec department, so we don’t have the resources for staff and operations that you’d have at a municipal-operated trails system, like in Anchorage or Fairbanks. We are incredibly grateful for the grants we receive that do help with maintenance costs and development projects — the city of Soldotna, the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s pass-through state community assistance grant, Alaska State Parks, the Rasmuson Foundation and the Kenai Peninsula Foundation. But we are, first and foremost, a community-supported organization. YOUR membership dues, donations and event registrations are what pay the bulk of the bills at Tsalteshi.
Second, if you’d like to help guide Tsaltehsi, consider getting involved! Our Board of Directors has elections every December (you have to be a member for a year to be eligible). And we’ve got lots of opportunities for volunteering if board participation isn’t your thing.
Tsalteshi is truly a community resource. Together, we can keep it growing in a positive direction. Thank you for your feedback and support!