Support public use cabins in the valley


November 3, 2022

State parks officials say the caretaker’s cabin at Chilkat State Park will be available for use as a nightly rental in the coming weeks. Joe Parnell’s donation of firewood and labor and Debra Schnabel’s loan of a log-splitter made this possible.

This arrangement is the most recent effort to establish public-use cabins in Haines similar to nearly 450 such cabins on state and federal lands across Alaska. The Forest Service announced in September it will spend $14 million building new cabins and improving old ones on its lands in Alaska, as many as 50 cabins including 12 new ones in Southeast. Unfortunately, for lack of Forest Service land here, Haines does not qualify.

But the State of Alaska, which maintains more than 70 public-use cabins, can be encouraged to follow the federal government’s example, particularly regarding Haines, which was overlooked when the state was building cabins at places like St. James Bay near Juneau and Settler’s Cove on the road system in Ketchikan.

Battery Point and Walker Lake have been identified as ideal cabin sites on recreation lands here.

Please help by sending comments supporting cabins in Haines to the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Created every five years, the SCORP is out for public review Nov. 1-28. It qualifies Alaska to receive millions of federal dollars for outdoor recreation infrastructure and guides other funding sources. 

Write to support public use cabins in the Haines area by emailing or by going to and using the comment tool.

Tom Morphet


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