Frontiers Spring Issue 113
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BLM Hosts Iditarod Ceremonial Start 2011

A Colossal BLM Annual Event at Campbell Tract

The view from the Anchorage Field Office of Campbell Tract and the airstrip during the Iditarod Ceremonial Start

The view from the Anchorage Field Office of Campbell Tract and the airstrip during the Iditarod Ceremonial Start. Photo by Vanessa Rathbun

BLM employees and volunteers in a logistics meeting

BLM craftsmen making wooden plaques

Crew setting up parking lot.

BLM employee welcomes the public as they enter the parking lot.

Crowds cheering mushers coming down the airstrip.

Going over the logisitcs with employees and volunteers. Photo by Gerry Minick.BLM craftsmen make hundreds of wooden plaques for the volunteers. Photo by Vanessa Rathbun.Crews set up the parking lot and public viewing areas. Photo by Sean Porter.Welcome! Photo by Vanessa RathbunLook at the dogs go! Photo by Vanessa Rathbun

More than 3,000 people attended the ceremonial start of 2011 Iditarod Race, held this year at BLM’s Campbell Tract in Anchorage. Hundreds of people gathered at the Campbell Creek Science Center, Campbell Airstrip Trailhead, BLM Road entrance. Nearly 700 rode on the three shuttle buses.

Preparations began months in advance and involved planners, facilities staff, Job Corps students, winter recreation specialists, volunteer trail groomers, and many others. Some tasks involved operating forklifts, snow shoveling, leasing equipment, stocking supplies, creating signs, setting up bus stops, coordinating, publicity, moving and parking traffic, and safety and security.

The snow trails were meticulously groomed for easy access by wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and baby strollers. This made Campbell Tract one of the best fully accessible locations to view the mushers and dogs up close and personal.

Volunteers from ‘Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center’ greeted and directed visitors to prime viewing locations on the trails. They also offered fun games, warmth, and refreshments indoors.

– Jorjena Daly, Outdoor Recreation Planner jdaly@blm.gov

Here’s a glimpse into some of the pre-event tasks/labor:



Snow plowing (leasing two front loaders) for Iditarod race and parking areas


Creation of 750 wooden plaques


Signs and fence posts


Race/musher/staff/public parking areas set-up


Public road, parking and trail sanding


Packing and grooming Campbell Tract’s Iditarod Trail section and public trail


Crew carrying cones to mark off viewing areas

Photo by Sean Porter

Last updated: 05-20-2011