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Field Reports: Alaska state parks seek crowdfunding support

PARKS – Alaska state park managers have turned to internet crowdfunding to protect a Delta Junction-area park from Tanana River erosion.

Internet-based crowdfunding is already a popular way to fund businesses, charities and artistic endeavors, but it’s an untapped method of getting things done at chronically underfunded state parks.

Alaska’s state park system launched an online campaign called “Big Trouble in Big Delta” with a goal of raising $50,000 toward a $319,000 project.

In the fundraising pitch video, relaxing music plays as a drone flies over the park buildings and river, showing the river eating away at the bank.

This is the first time the state parks office has appealed to the public for funding, said Brooks Ludwig, the northern area superintendent for the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

“We haven’t had any emergency repair money (from the state) in a few years now,” he said. “I can’t see it coming in the next year.”

The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation previously increased fees at Big Delta and other recreation sites with a goal of eventually running the state parks system without any money from the state’s unrestricted general fund. The parks division also plans to experiment with selling state park T-shirts and other merchandise this fall.

Websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo host the fundraising campaigns in exchange for a fee. The Alaska parks division gets to use the FundYourPark crowdfunding platform as part of its membership in the National Recreation and Park Association.

Like state and local parks, the National Park Service has also looked for new revenue sources in recent years. This spring, Denali National Park asked supporters to vote online in a competition for funding from American Express. Denali was one of the winning parks and will receive $220,000 to restore a former park superintendent’s headquarters.

Fees and other revenues have been on the rise at national parks but not fast enough to offset decreasing funding from the federal government.

For the park service’s centennial fundraising campaign this year, the agency temporarily waived a rule prohibiting corporate logos in the park for sponsor Subaru. For its sponsor Budweiser, the park service waived a rule that prohibited the park service from advertising with an alcohol company.

Spokane Rifle Club

offers sight-in days

HUNTING – Hunters can zero-in their rifles before the general hunting seasons at the annual Sight-In Days at the Spokane Rifle Club.

Club facilities along the Spokane River downstream from the Bowl and Pitcher will be open to nonmembers starting Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continuing on Oct. 3, 7, 8, 10 and 14.

Cost is $20 for one rifle plus $5 for one additional rifle. Youths younger than 18 with a paying adult can shoot for $5.

The club offers a scope and firearm checkup before guests hit the range. It also offers assistance in adjusting scopes and sights from helpers on the range with targets provided for 50- and 100-yard range shooting.

Club rules require that all firearms should be unloaded when arriving at the range.

Ear and eye protection is required and available at the club if needed.

Info: (509) 327-9632.

An online directory of significant shooting ranges – rifle and shotgun – throughout the country is at

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4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)

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