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Alaska’s Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust Receives National Land Trust Excellence Award

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September 19, 2014 | Land Trust Alliance | Providence, RI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joshua Lynsen

Media Relations Manager

202-800-2239 | Email

PROVIDENCE, RI — Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust (AK), a nonprofit organization conserving the environment and resources of southwest Alaska, received the prestigious National Land Trust Excellence Award from the Land Trust Alliance during its annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island.

The award, presented Sept. 18 during the welcoming dinner of Rally 2014: The National Land Conservation Conference, celebrates the dedication and passion of Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust. It also honors the efforts of the organization in broadening support for land conservation, showing initiative in collaborating with others, and creating innovative communications, education and outreach solutions. Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust Executive Director Tim Troll accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Bud Hodson, chairman of the board of Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, said 2014 is a particularly meaningful year to receive this award.

“This year is the 25th anniversary of the land trust movement in Alaska,” he said. “In 1989, our state enacted the Uniform Conservation Easement Act, and the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust was formed. We followed a path pioneered by our sister land trusts in Alaska. For us, this recognition underscores the importance of the conservation work yet to be done in Alaska and the critical role land trusts will play in that work.”

In addition to helping protect 23,000 acres, Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust has worked to protect the region’s water and fish, increased understanding of the effects of mining and climate change on wild salmon, and educated youth about conservation by keying its efforts to the local sport fishing culture.

“One example of its significant impact in the region is the role it played in a local citizens’ effort to challenge the reclassification of state lands in Bristol Bay,” said Michael P. Dowling, chairman of the Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors. “The state is the largest landowner in Bristol Bay, and in 2005, the state reclassified most of its lands to allow for easier permitting of development projects. The land trust took the lead in the development and drafting of a science-based, alternative plan from citizens that ultimately helped convince the state to restore protective wildlife habitat classifications on 2.9 million acres and recreation classifications on 1.2 million acres of state land in Bristol Bay.”

The Land Trust Alliance, a national conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America, awards one or more National Land Trust Excellence Awards annually to land trusts that have achieved significant impact on the conservation community. Two such awards were granted this year; Gates Mills Land Conservancy (OH) also was honored.

Rally 2014 is the nation’s premier gathering for conservation leadership and training, featuring more than 100 workshops and over a dozen seminars. For more information about Rally 2014, visit www.lta.org/rally.

About the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust

The Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation and protection of salmon and wildlife habitat in the greater Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, including the Wood/Tikchik State Park, Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks and several national wildlife refuges. More information is available at www.bristolbaylandtrust.org.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,200 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices.

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