Public Radio for Alaska's Bristol Bay
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

#ThisPlaceMatters Alaska seeks input from residents on historic sites

Kim Varner Wetzel

The State of Alaska is looking for feedback on how and what to preserve in the years to come.

As part of the regular review process, the Alaska Office of History and Archeology is updating its Historic Preservation Plan. The current plan expires in 2017, and the new plan will be in effect through 2023.

Summer Rickman, an architectural historian for the state, said the office is in the early stages of being drafted, with an eye toward having a draft version out for public comment next spring. Through December, the office is looking for feedback from Alaskans on what needs to be protected, as well as what the plan should address.

“We’re hoping the public can help us identify issues about historic preservation that need to be addressed statewide,” Rickman said. “Properties that they have concerns about, properties that they find important to preserve, and different areas where we either have challenges that we need to address over the next five years.”

Historic preservation is not immune from state budget cuts, and Rickman said the office is working on getting feedback without the high cost of traveling everywhere. There’s an online survey to weigh in on the plan, and the office is trying to utilize social media as well.

Part of that initiative includes a map-based photo sharing campaign called “#ThisPlaceMatters Alaska.” Through a website, people can upload photos and include information about where the photo was taken and why that place is important.

The website launched recently, and Rickman said about fifteen sites are attached so far. Those include Nome’s train to nowhere out on the tundra, a telegraph station in Big Delta, cabins in Anchorage and Fairbanks, a bluff on the Yukon near Eagle, and other structures and locales.