The Land Trust currently owns four parcels, two on the Nushagak River, one on the Mulchatna River and one on the Agulowak River. Conservation easements are held on two additional parcels in the Wood-Tikchik State Park. The Land Trust has enforcement rights and stands behind the State of Alaska on a 21,000 acre conservation easement on Aleknagik Natives Limited land in the Wood-Tikchik State Park. The Land Trust has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund on several other acquisitions. Generally these larger conservation organizations have focused on inholdings within conservation units. The Land Trust has concentrated on critical parcels outside of conservation units and has and will be partnering with local village corporations to address allotments that are inholdings on ANCSA lands.
In 2009 the Land Trust completed an assessment and prioritization of all the allotments outside of conservation units in the Nushagak River watershed. The Land Trust is participating in a similar prioritization project with The Conservation Fund for allotments in the Kvichak basin and other parts of the Bristol Bay region.
The Land Trust is currently pursuing the following land conservation projects:
Harris Creek / Nushagak River/ Koliganek Land Trade
The Land Trust is negotiating a trade of two parcels owned by the Land Trust with Koliganek Natives Limited (KNL) in exchange for conservation easements to protect more acreage at the mouth of Harris Creek, an important salmon tributary of the Nushagak River. The trade will return Native land to Native ownership, increase KNL’s land base, create a potential economic opportunity for KNL and be good for salmon habitat conservation.
Status: KNL and Land Trust have agreed in principal to the exchange. KNL will give Land Trust a no-development conservation easement over the 530 acres it owns in section 5 (above) at the mouth of Harris Creek. The Land Trust will give KNL ownership of two allotment parcels, but retain conservation easements. On the parcel located at Harris Creek the conservation easement will allow for possible lodge development in a five acre section. The Land Trust is looking to make up the difference in exchange values with a combination of cash and corporate tax benefits for KNL. Land Trust is also in discussions with BBNC regarding subsurface rights in Section 5.
Igushik River Conservation Easement
The Land Trust applied for and received a small grant from the Pacific Coast Joint Venture program and Ducks Unlimited. The grant will be used to underwrite discussions between Choggiung LTD village corporation and Togiak NWR for a possible conservation easement on the west side of Nushagak Bay on Choggiung LTD lands in the Nicholas Hills and Igushik River watershed. The focal lands abut the refuge and are part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The easement would target the protection of waterfowl and shorebird resting areas and nesting sites and salmon habitat at the mouth of the Igushik River.
Status: This project is just starting. Both Choggiung and the Togiak NWR have agreed to discuss the possibilities of a conservation deal. The small grant will help with mapping, meeting costs and drafts of potential conservation easements. BBNC is subsurface owner. If all parties agree , the next step would be appraisals.
Old Man Creek / Mulchatna River
The Land Trust continues to pursue funding for a 160 acre acquisition to protect fish habitat and a popular sport fishing location at the confluence of Old Man Creek and the Mulchatna River. This allotment was highly ranked in the Nushagak Allotment assessment.
Status: Land Trust offered owner $187,500 the appraised value in 2009 but was unable to raise sufficient funds in time for closing. Land Trust has located another possible source of funding for most of the purchase price and had re-opened discussion with the owner. May need non-government matching funds. Awaiting review of an updated BIA appraisal from BBNA.
Pecks Creek / Kvichak River
The Land Trust is partnering with Igiugig Native Corporation and Igiugig Tribal Council to secure funding for the acquisition of a 160 acre parcel at the confluence of Pecks Creek with the Kvichak River. The acquisition will not only protect important fish habitat, but also preserve a 7000 year old archeological site. If the acquisition is successful the Land Trust and Igiugig Native Corporation will work on transferring title to the village corporation, subject to a conservation easement, in exchange for conservation easement protections on corporation lands around the mouth of Pecks Creek.
Status: Land Trust and Igiugig Native Corporation have written a joint letter of interest to BBNA Realty. Waiting for completion of BIA appraisal. Anticipated funding need is $275,000.
Chikuminuk Lake / Allen River
The Nature Conservancy is transferring a 160 acre parcel on Chikuminuk Lake to the Land Trust. TNC acquired the allotment in 2005 at the suggestion of the Land Trust. The parcel was the only private inholding on the lake. Shortly after the acquisition the State Park gave Chikuminuk Lake a wilderness designation which prohibits motorized craft on the lake. The lake is now under investigation as a potential hydroelectric site. Current park legislation, however, prohibits such a project. The stewardship of this property is key to preserving the wilderness designation for Chikuminuk Lake and protecting the lake from the adverse environmental impacts that may arise as a result of proposed hydro development.
Status: Awaiting transfer.