Eklutna Inc. and Great Land Trust to Conserve 4800 acres of Habitat for Salmon, Wildlife and the Public
Eklutna Inc. to receive $1.95 million for conservation easement at the confluence of the Knik and Matanuska Rivers
Anchorage—Eklutna Inc. CEO Curtis McQueen and Great Land Trust Executive Director Phil Shephard announced today that Eklutna Inc., the Native Corporation for Anchorage, will conserve nearly 4,800 acres at the mouth of the Knik and Matanuska Rivers with a conservation easement. The land will remain under the ownership of Eklutna Inc. and traditional uses such as hunting and fishing by Shareholders and public access through permits will continue. The property contains excellent habitat for all five species of salmon in Cook Inlet as well as many other wildlife species. In addition, the property is adjacent to the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge and Chugach State Park, two of Alaska’s most popular recreational areas. Scenic views of the property are well known by travelers crossing the Knik River Bridge on the Glenn Highway.
Great Land Trust has been working to conserve wetlands and other important habitats in southcentral Alaska since 1995. Eklutna, Inc is the largest private landowner in the region and both organizations anticipate more conservation projects in the future. Eklutna, Inc. will be paid $1.95 million for the conservation easement. The project was made possible through a collaborative effort with the Mat-Su Salmon Partnership, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries, AK Dept of Fish and Game and CIRI. Funding for this conservation easement was made possible through resources set aside to offset habitat losses associated with the expansion of the Port of Anchorage.
Curtis McQueen praised the project and said that “Eklutna Inc. has been working hard over the last several years to make more of its lands available for development so the growing community of Anchorage could continue to prosper. We have master planned strategic sections of our lands to meet the need for more residential, commercial and industrial development. At the same time, we are honored to work with the Great Land Trust to protect key habitat for our shareholders and the community. We anticipate doing more transactions of this kind in the future”.
Phil Shephard applauded the deal, stating “working together with the staff and board at Eklutna Inc. to permanently conserve 4,800 acres for the citizens of southcentral Alaska has been enriching and incredibly rewarding—we look forward to the next project very soon!”