Agreement permanently conserves Alaska island near Kodiak - InfoNews

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Agreement permanently conserves Alaska island near Kodiak

March 05, 2019 - 6:20 AM

KODIAK, Alaska - An Alaska island about 5 miles (8 kilometres) off the coast of Kodiak has been permanently designated for conservation after the Great Land Trust reached an agreement with the landowner.

The Leisnoi Native Corp. has granted public access to most of Long Island, agreeing to permanently protect the habitat from logging and development, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Monday.

Leisnoi will privately hold about 141 acres (57 hectares) of the island for traditional uses. Alaska Natives have used the island to fish, hunt and gather.

"After years of work, Leisnoi is excited to see this project come to fruition," Leisnoi CEO Jana Turvey said. "It is rewarding knowing that the land will be preserved forever. This project is truly a win-win."

The Kodiak Island Borough will manage the 1,259 acres (509 hectares) open to the public as a borough park.

"Great Land Trust is honoured to conserve this property and provide public access to a valuable place of natural and cultural history," said Mark Dalton, board chair of the conservation group.

A coastal defence fort was constructed on the island during World War II. The defensive structures were later abandoned but remain visible. The island also has abandoned military roads now used as hiking trails.

The island falls within the Audubon Society-recognized Chiniak Bay Important Bird Area.

The designation recognizes the island's unique bird habitat as an area of global importance. The island is home to several species of seabirds, such as cormorants and Kittlitz's murrelets.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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