Forest Service now requires annual parking tags at Zarembo Island lot

The Zarembo Island parking lot is free, as are the tags to put on the windshield. What’s changing is that the U.S. Forest Service now wants people to get a new tag each year so that the agency can keep better track of vehicles left at the Roosevelt Harbor parking lot on Zarembo Island.

After it spent a couple hundred thousand dollars to improve the drainage and parking surface at the lot, and clear out abandoned vehicles, the agency would like to keep the area in better shape.

“We’re hoping the public will help us self-police the site,” Austin O’Brien, a timber staff officer with the Wrangell Ranger District, said last week. Requiring vehicle owners to obtain and display a new sticker each year would “validate they still own the vehicle and use it,” he said.

The Forest Service removed close to 20 abandoned vehicles as part of last year’s cleanup effort, O’Brien said.

The color of the stickers will change each year, making it easier for Forest Service personnel to check out cars and trucks left at the lot. This year’s sticker is green. The agency asks that people park in the designated area, without straying into the brush.

Requiring annual registration will help the agency find a vehicle’s last owner, if needed.

The annual parking tags are available at the Forest Service office on Bennett Street; phone 907-874-2323.

Roosevelt Harbor is about 11 miles southwest of Wrangell, making it popular with hunters and recreational users going to Zarembo Island. The Forest Service contracted last year with Ketchikan Redi-Mix & Quarry to restore and improve drainage at the site, restore a catchment pond and resurface the lot.

The agency recently awarded a separate contract to Petersburg-based Rock-N-Road Construction to repair the Roosevelt Harbor dock, which was heavily damaged in a storm last winter. O’Brien said he expects the new dock and gangway will be ready for public use by next summer.

Until the dock is rebuilt, hunters and others can use the boat launch ramp at Roosevelt, or travel around Zarembo to the St. John’s dock on the northwest side of the island.


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