The Eklutna Native Corporation, based near Anchorage, and the Great Land Trust have reached an agreement that is expected to protect 4800 acres of wetlands near the Knik and Matanuska Rivers.
Eklutna has sold the right to develop the land to the Trust, although the Corporation keeps ownership of the actual acreage.
David Mitchell, the Trust’s conservation director, says the Native corporation land is an important wildlife corridor.
The Trust paid $1.95 million for the development rights to the property, which is still available for traditional uses like hunting and fishing.
The cost of the property is being paid with money from the Port of Anchorage project. The port filled in 135 acres of wetlands with the permission of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps’ permit requires money to be put into a fund to offset the impact of the fill.
Eklutna CEO Curtis McQueen said in a press release that “we are honored to work 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.”
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