Directions to the River Center
Turn east onto Funny River Road at Mile 96.5 of the Sterling Highway in Soldotna, Alaska. The Kenai River Center is located at Mile 1.6 of Funny River Road, across from the Soldotna Municipal Airport.
We are open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, except on holidays.
What is the River Center?
The River Center in Soldotna, Alaska is a multi-agency permitting, information, and education center. Borough, state, and federal agencies work together to protect the natural resources associated with Kenai Peninsula watersheds.
What agencies are at the River Center?
The Kenai Peninsula Borough River Center staff includes resource planners. Alaska State Parks and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Habitat, also have offices at the Kenai River Center. The River Center Outreach and Education program is staffed through the Kenai Watershed Forum.
Why was the River Center established?
The River Center was created to increase coordination and communication between permitting agencies in order to streamline the permitting process for landowners and improve protection of the Kenai Peninsula's natural resources. The River Center is also designed to serve as a source of information and education for landowners and others concerned with resource management.
How long has the River Center been in operation?
The River Center was officially established in early 1996 by a cooperative agreement between the State of Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. It opened in May of 1996, and in September of 2000 relocated to a new building at Mile 1.5 Funny River Road, across from the Soldotna Municipal Airport.
How much of the Kenai Peninsula Borough does the River Center provide service for?
All of it! Staff members at the River Center either have the entire Peninsula as their area of responsibility or work closely with agency personnel stationed elsewhere to provide coverage. No matter where you live on the Kenai Peninsula, the River Center is a good starting place to find the answers to your permitting and resource management questions.
How does the River Center benefit landowners?
The River Center can be described as a "One-Stop Permit Shopping" opportunity. Because of overlapping jurisdictions, many projects require permits from more than one government agency. Rather than filling out applications for every agency, the River Center allows permit-seekers fill out one application. The application is then circulated by River Center staff to the appropriate agencies. Agency staff work closely with each other and with the applicants to develop projects that both meet the applicants' needs and protect natural resources.
River Center staff are also available to consult with landowners during the design phase of a project. Because our staff review so many different projects, they have a wealth of experience to share. In addition to helping landowners develop designs that are compliant with regulations, they can offer ideas for solving dilemmas and information about how various approaches have worked in similar areas. River Center staff are available to make "house calls" to project sites, and meetings can also be arranged at the River Center with landowners, contractors, and River Center staff for people who would like assistance with a project.
What other resources are available at the River Center?
The Donald E. Gilman Resource Library houses a collection of books, periodicals, CD-Roms, videos, and other materials related to natural resource management and the natural and human history of the Kenai Peninsula. The library is open to the public during regular Kenai River Center hours.
The River Center is an excellent source of information on stream bank protection and restoration. In addition to our knowledgeable staff, we have examples of materials used in restoration, models, and even our own bank restoration and walkway project, which incorporates several different methods of bank restoration.
The River Center provides information on many other topics, as well. Flood insurance information, wetland delineation, fish habitat, guiding on area rivers, and construction along salmon-bearing rivers are just some of the subjects that people find help with at the Kenai River Center.
Because so many agencies work together at the River Center, and because we also work closely with other agencies such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program, and others, we can offer advice and information on a broad range of topics related to natural resource management and development. Contact us to see what we can do for you!