Newly marked easements bring new visitors to Campbell Lake

Published: Jan. 18, 2020 at 9:33 PM AKST
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Bikers, skiers, and even a snowmachine made their way to Campbell lake Saturday, but how did they get past the private homes that surround the lake?

Over the easements and through the snow, to Campbell Lake they went.

“This is ‘Storm Campbell Lake, they can't stop all of us,” said Keith McCormick, the organizer. “Kind of a parody off of the

It celebrated the state and city statement last month that Campbell Lake is a public waterway. The statement, prompted in part by a

from political blog The Alaska Landmine.

“We contacted [the Department of Natural Resources], and we, months later, heard back and they said ‘well actually it is public and there's easements on the North and South end of the lake that provide public access,’" said the Landmine’s Editor Jeff Landfield.

The easements were there, but not easy to see, and when Landfield asked the city if they had plans to mark them, he said they told him no.

So the Landmine hired a surveyor to do it themselves.

“We did a gofundme, for $2000 he researched, did maps, and marked with stakes and flags the easements,” Landfield said. “So now the easements on the North and South end are marked for public use."

Doing so gave easier access to the lake.

“Then I knew we had to make an event,” McCormick said. “Kinda celebrate it being a public lake and everybody who'd gotten chased out, welcoming about them back in."

But the celebration wasn't about chasers or chase-ees, it was about enjoying a beautiful public space.

“It's huge, it's great for skiing in the Winter, and it's great for boating and swimming and enjoying recreation in the Summer, and, you know, it's great that Alaskans can now enjoy and use this lake for recreation,” Landfield said. “Everybody, not just the folks who happen to live here."

A space where everyone is welcome.

“We haven't had any homeowners come out, though we'd welcome them with a burger and a soda…” McCormick said. “But yeah, we're happy to have everyone out."

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