The Agulowak River is one of the salmon rich jewels of Southwest Alaska. This 4.5-mile long river flows from Lake Nerka to Lake Aleknagik within the Wood-Tikchik State Park. The river provides a robust fishery for sport anglers, subsistence and commercial users. The Land Trust together with The Conservation Fund have entered discussions with the major Native corporation landowner for a conservation easement on its land within Wood-Tikchik State Park, including both banks of the Agulowak River and approximately 39 miles of shoreline along Lakes Aleknagik and Nerka—a total of about 20,300 acres. The land has high fish and wildlife values and is heavily used for subsistence and recreation.
The Agulukpak is one of the highly productive rivers that connect the large lakes of the Wood-Tikchik State Park. The ‘Pak’ flows two miles from Lake Beverley to Lake Nerka. Like the Agulowak, it is a major spawning area for sockeye salmon and supports a high density of rainbow trout and Dolly Varden. The Conservation Fund and the Land Trust are working to protect the conservation values of three Native allotments near the river’s mouth and one at the start of the Pak. The Land Trust already monitors one conservation easement on the Agulukpak.
The Conservation Fund acquired a 123-acre tract bordering both sides of the mouth of Elva Creek. Elva Creek and Elva Lake form an important sockeye spawning system for tens of thousands of salmon and other fish. The area is an important feeding area for brown bears. The public heavily uses the mouth of Elva Creek for subsistence, fishing and other recreation. The land will be transferred to the Park. Funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, and the Forest Legacy program made the acquisition possible.
Silver Horn Arm
The Land Trust recently accepted a conservation easement over the only private inholding in the Silver Horn Fiord of Lake Beverley. The easement was secured through the efforts of the Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy of Alaska. Native allotment owner Gusty Chythlook of Dillingham sold an easement over the parcel to The Nature Conservancy which in turn transferred the easement to the Land Trust. The Land Trust will enforce the terms of the easement which prohibits any commercial development of the property and limits the owner to the construction of one cabin for personal use. There are currently no improvements on the parcel. Tikchik Narrows Lodge committed $3500 to the Land Trust stewardship fund to underwrite enforcement and monitoring of the property. The Silver Horn Fiord is one of the most visually stunning landmarks in the Wood-Tikchik State Park. The acquisition of this easement secures the wilderness character of this fiord in perpetuity.
The Nature Conservancy of Alaska acquired an 80 acre parcel at the headwaters of the Allen River on Chikumunik Lake. This parcel was the only private inholding on Chikumunik Lake, one of the highest and most remote lakes in the northern reaches of Wood-Tikchik State Park.