KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska Native corporation has sold a 4.7-square-mile (12-square-kilometer) property on Afognak Island to be used as a conservation easement.
Natives of Kodiak sold the property at Portage Lake on the northeast side of the island to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, the entity overseeing $900 million in settlement funds from the 1989 oil spill, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Thursday.
The property will be owned by the state of Alaska, and the Bureau of Land Management will hold the easement to prevent development on the property. The sale price of the land was not immediately available.
“We are excited about the sale of this property,” said Jim Erickson, Natives of Kodiak CEO. “It conserves this land for future generations for NOK shareholders and others to enjoy forever, while also helping provide benefits to our current shareholders.”
The deal was facilitated by the Great Land Trust, a conservation organization. The land was identified by the organization as vital for habitat preservation, said Ellen Kazary, the trust’s executive director.
“The Portage Lake property is an ecologically rich area that is contiguous with other conserved and protected lands, creating a corridor for wildlife travel,” Kazary said.
The property contains saltwater and freshwater access points, and its rivers and streams support four species of salmon.
The land also supports coastal wildlife, such as seabirds, sea lions and sea otters, Kazary said. The site’s native plant species include Sitka spruce, salmonberry and blueberry.
The land will be open to the public.
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com
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