Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Kachemak Moose Habitat Inc. Partner to Conserve Land and Increase Hunting and Fishing Access
More than 54 acres of fishing and hunting access on the Anchor River are now open to the public in State ownership and will be conserved forever thanks to the work of Alaska Department of
Fish & Game, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, and Kachemak Moose Habitat Inc. So far in this project, four parcels have been purchased with federal funds from the Pittman-Robertson Federal
Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and funds from Kachemak Moose Habitat, Inc., or donated as land match to be perpetually preserved as moose habitat and for public access near the 19,000-acre State-designated Anchor River/Fritz Creek Critical Habitat Area.
The grant funding provides for the purchase of up to 612.62 acres from willing landowners on and adjacent to the river, potentially connecting the Anchor River/Fritz Creek Critical Habitat Area to the lower, wildlife-rich Anchor River corridor. The acquisition of these properties will conserve habitat important to the year-round survival of moose, particularly for moose calving,
moose habitat in winter, and provide an important winter migration corridor, supporting and sustaining the moose harvest on the Lower Kenai Peninsula.
Additionally, through these purchases, stream-side habitat important to king, coho, sockeye, and pink salmon, Dolly Varden, and steelhead trout will be protected; and directly benefit people by providing new access for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing. Protection of this valuable spawning and rearing fish habitat directly benefits commercial and sport fishermen on the river and in Cook Inlet as well. This area has also been designated an Important Bird Area by The National Audubon Society with industrialization and urbanization listed as one of the main
The City of Homer, The Independent Living Center, Homer Animal Friends and Kachemak Heritage Land Trust Partner to Debut Universally Accessible Poopdeck Platt Community Park Trail in the Center of Homer
Starting in 2013, a collaborative group spearheaded by Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, the City of Homer, The Independent Living Center, and Homer Animal Friends, came together to create a beautiful, useful and inclusive space that honors the history and natural environment of Homer. After eight years of planning, fundraising and building, Homer residents and visitors can now enjoy the universally accessible Poopdeck Platt Community Park Trail.
The Poopdeck property is named after Clarence “Poopdeck” Platt who owned and resided on the 3.47-acre parcel until his death in November 2000 at the age of 96. The property is located in the northwest corner of an area that has become known as the “Town Center” area of the City of Homer. The physical address is 315 Klondike Avenue, Homer, Alaska 99603.
The primary objectives for the use of the Poopdeck property lie in its value for community and for recreational uses. Specifically, priority uses are for continued use as the primary office location for KHLT, as a public park and trail, and as a gathering space for the public. Widely accessible public green spaces in downtown Homer are few and far between. The Poopdeck Platt Community Park Trail fills this need.
KHLT hopes to continue to collaborate with the community in future land preservation projects and looks forward to continued activation and enjoyment of the Poopdeck Platt Community Trail.
"Working with the City of Homer, Homer Independent Living Center, Homer Animal Friends, and all the local businesses and individuals who donated their time and resources to make the Poopdeck Platt Community Park Trail an Urban Oasis in the heart of Homer has been one of the most inspiring and coolest projects I have worked on as KHLT's Stewardship Director."- Joel Cooper, KHLT Stewardship Director
Anchor River Protected Habitat Grows
KHLT recently purchased an additional 5 acres for permanent protection along the Anchor River semi-adjacent to the 55-acre Starr Property. This acquisition, made possible through a grant from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, furthers KHLT efforts to conserve properties along this corridor of the Anchor River in perpetuity.
Based on thermal imagery mapping completed by Cook Inletkeeper, the property is adjacent to multiple coldwater inputs. Coldwater inputs from springs and seeps are critical to the survival of salmon and other fish species and will increase in importance as temperatures continue to warm. Because the river is non-glacially fed, it is especially vulnerable to increasing temperatures due to climate change.
The protection of this important spawning and rearing habitat will serve as a valuable addition to the overall health of the salmon and steelhead populations in the Anchor River for generations to come!
New Addition to Protected Salmon Habitat
KHLT is pleased to announce that we recently received a 73.39-acre property near the mouth of Stariski Creek for permanent protection. This portion of Stariski Creek, known as Stariski Estuary, will never be developed or subdivided and will instead be preserved for fish and wildlife habitat, as well as hiking, wildlife viewing, and fishing access.
The lowland portion of the property contains important wetlands along Stariski Creek and Cook Inlet. It provides fantastic habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon, Dolly Varden, and steelhead trout in addition to providing supporting habitat and an important food source to endangered and threatened species such as the Steller sea lion, Steller’s eider, and Cook Inlet beluga whale. The property also provides valuable habitat for such terrestrial species as black bear, brown bear, moose, and lynx.
The addition of this property adds to the 585 acres of valuable wetland and surrounding upland habitat already protected by KHLT on Stariski Creek!
Read the full press release here.
Trail Construction in Progress
Ptarmigan Ptrails, a Northwest-based trail construction company and member of the nationally recognized Professional Trail Builders Association, has completed their portion of trail construction on our Poopdeck Platt property. The new universally accessible trail is part of our Poopdeck Community Park project, aiming to help make Homer a more walkable and inclusive community. Although the trail is open, it is not yet ADA-ready with a bit more work to do. The gravel will continue to settle with time and weather, and we will make various adjustments to improve accessibility. Requiring additional funding and further planning, ADA parking will be completed during a later phase of construction.
This trail project is in collaboration with the City of Homer and Homer Independent Living Center. Other upcoming features of the Poopdeck Community Park project include informational signs with interactive elements, and in partnership with Homer Animal Friends, dog leashes and waste disposal stations. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this trail a reality!
Beer for a Cause
Our Soldotna neighbor, Kenai River Brewing Co (KRBC), generously brewed a beer supporting KHLT – donating a portion of the sales to our important conservation organization. The Double Spruce Tip IPA is currently available on tap at KRBC and Alice’s Champagne Palace. The spruce tips were harvested from Land Trust properties and our Stewardship Director, Joel Cooper was excited to help with the brewing!
As part of this great opportunity, KHLT held a Battle of the Beer Label contest. There was a tie for first place and six-packs will be available for purchase by the beginning of 2019 which will include three cans of each design. Congratulations to Cheryl Newell of Sterling and Tammy Tyler of Seward for their winning entries! Monies raised will help fund KHLT’s annual stewardship responsibilities; stewarding irreplaceable lands under our care from the head of Kachemak Bay to the Kenai River. Thank you KRBC!
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