Eklutna, Inc. and the Greatland Trust have partnered on a land conservation project that will preserve over 1,000 acres of Eklunta, Inc. owned land for subsistence use.
The land is a prime area for hunting, berry picking and fishing and contains high quality salmon and migratory bird habitat.
Eklutna CEO Curtis McQueen says the deal helps balance growth and development in the Valley with land conservation and cultural values. He says the land is “conserved for future generations of Eklutna people.”
The lands will remain under Eklutna Inc. ownership for use by shareholders, but public recreation access through permits will continue. Phil Shepherd is executive director of the Greatland Trust.
“We’ve been working with Eklutna four years now on a number of projects throughout their holdings, and they are voluntary agreements that place their lands in conservation status,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd says the conservation agreement, although voluntary, is a legal agreement between a landowner and the land trust that permanently restricts future development and subdivision on the lands.
“The funding comes from a variety of sources, grant funding, and we also get funding from wetland mitigation,” Shepherd said. “We pool all those funds together and use the funds to purchase the conservation easement and then put together a land management fund.”
Shepherd says the land management fund is accessible to both Eklutna and the Trust.