The ‘Local’ Look Back

Spanning January, 1981 to December, 2000, the Local News was a community-created monthly reaching Bird Creek, Indian, Portage and Girdwood bearing news and cheer of note as penned by residents, themselves.

Advocates declared the Local News “the essence of what community education is all about” and the Gazette is proud to keep its tradition alive in its ‘Local’ look back.


The year was 1984 when Girdwood Board of Supervisor meeting minutes, published in The Local News Volume IV Number 7, shared findings of interest to all ski faithful.

The U.S. Forest Service, working with consultant firm, Leonard Lane and Associates reported on its 1982 study:

“…alpine skiing in Southcentral Alaska showed shortage of beginner and intermediate terrain with reliable snow conditions.

Taking into consideration the estimated population growth of that same area, the study projected a shortage of ski terrain.”

Spurred by the study’s conclusions, the U.S. Forest Service endeavored to identify areas for expansion of winter sports, including Nordic and/or alpine skiing, and listed three potential sites:

  • Glacier Creek/Winner Creek
  • Turnagain Pass/Tincan Mountain
  • Manitoba Mountain (near Summit Lake)

Each Site would undergo further socio-economic impact study while USFS personnel continued to monitor–via extensive field research–the ski factors of terrain evaluation, climate and mean snow condition.