"The purpose of the closure is to allow development plans to move toward development of additional ski facilities."
- Rep. Hawker
"An Act approving an interim classification by the commissioner of natural resources closing certain land within the Glacier Creek and Winner Creek drainages to new mineral entry; and providing for an effective date."
House Bill 139 would approve the interim classification in Mineral Closing Order No. 593, Amendment 3. This closing order was reaffirmed by the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources last year to close state land in the upper Glacier Creek and Winner Creek drainages near Girdwood to new mineral entry for another ten years. The proposed closure area is 5,740 acres.
For the closure order to remain effective, the legislature must approve its extension by the ninetieth day of session or April 20, 2003. If it is not approved by the ninetieth day, the order will expire.
The purpose of the closure is to allow development plans to move toward development of additional ski facilities. Previous studies have documented the area's terrain as having some of the finest alpine skiing conditions in North America. During the ten-year closure period, the Heritage Land Bank will be looking for solutions that begin this commercial development.
If development does not begin within the ten-year timeframe, the area will reopen to mineral entry on April 3, 2012. If development does begin before April 3, 2012, the land shall remain closed to mineral entry.
The Department of Natural Resources Geologists have concluded that the area has a low potential for economic development in regards to locatable minerals. The area has been primarily identified for recreational mining activities, which are not prohibited under the mineral closing order.