Tongass National Forest studying public cabin program

JUNEAU, Alaska — U.S. Forest Service officials say the public use cabin system on the Tongass National Forest is not sustainable.

Forest managers are devising a plan to identify underused and rundown cabins and look at gearing funding toward more popular sites. The forest, in a release, says another goal is sustaining more cabins through volunteer efforts.

Forest officials say rising costs and declining funding have led to a $600,000 shortfall in the cabin program’s budget.

The forest says its most popular cabins are often booked over 100 nights a year. But of the 152 cabins it manages, 17 generally more remote cabins had fewer than 10 nights of use.

The forest says declining funding has limited its ability to keep pace with deferred maintenance, meaning less-used cabins have been allowed to deteriorate.

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