February 17, 2011 |

State parks pulls float at Chilkat

A little more than a year after a new float was installed at a Letnikof boat launch, a similar float on Chilkat Inlet has been removed.

State parks ranger Preston Kroes said because of its deteriorated condition, the float at the Chilkat State Park boat ramp will no longer be put out. There are no plans to replace it. It had been in place about 30 years.

"It’s becoming such a hazard. It was literally falling apart. It would be a huge liability," Kroes said. "People will still be able to use the ramp. They just won’t have the float to temporarily tie off on. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, we’ll get funding to replace it somewhere."

In addition to the floats, the creosote pilings that anchor them also would need replacing, Kroes said. "It was going to be $650,000 plus."

Regional parks director Mike Eberhardt said construction of a new ramp float at Letnikof, about three miles away, entered into the agency’s decision.

"You don’t need two, million-dollar facilities (that close) to each other. They’re both accessing the same piece of water… With the improvements at Letnikof, we figured most locals weren’t going to drive down there to launch their boats," Eberhardt said.

Kroes said the ramp and float were used primarily by Mud Bay residents and visiting Yukoners.

Mud Bay resident Rob Goldberg this week said the float was of limited use during some low tides, when it is completely out of the water. At such times, the ramp’s low end also is as much as 50 feet from the water, he said.