- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service is wrapping up plans for an improvement project at a Juneau beach that could include enhanced habitat for fish.

An environmental assessment for Lena Beach includes a plan to improve fish passage to more than 1 mile of spawning habitat and 1 ½ acres of coho-salmon-rearing habitat, the Juneau Empire newspaper (https://is.gd/kQ5USb) reported.

The improvement project planned for the Lena Beach Recreation Area first went out for public comment one year ago.

“We have definitely paid close attention to the comments that we received and made some adjustments to what is now the third alternative to address those,” said Juneau Ranger District Recreation program manager Ed Grossman. “They’re minor changes, but we’re trying to show we appreciate the comments we received.”

A public comment period on an updated plan has a March 30 deadline. One of three alternatives is to do nothing.

Besides fish habitat improvements, the proposed plans call for improvement such as bike racks, a kayak launching area and road paving. Large rocks in the parking area would be removed, and so would a picnic table that is sparsely used.

Whatever final plan emerges, parts of the beach will be closed as work occurs, according to Grossman. The work is expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

“This is primarily a recreation site for locals,” he said. “That’s definitely how we want to fix it up - to be attractive and more useful for locals.”

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Online:

https://is.gd/frGZNJ

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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