Resource ChallengeThe Bristol Bay region, including the Alaska Peninsula comprises a nearly 40 million acre area that is home to the world's most productive wild salmon fishery. This uniquely scenic and largely undeveloped landscape is a world class hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation destination as well as home to Alaska's most productive commercial salmon fishery. The Native Alaskans and rural residents of the region also enjoy a traditional subsistence lifestyle. The region is home to several national wildlife refuges, national parks and Alaska's Wood Tikchik State Park. All of these public land areas have significant private inholdings along salmon rivers whose development would harm wild salmon productivity and the wilderness character of this unique region. A sharp drop in commercial salmon prices in the last decade is creating pressure on Native landowners with remote inholding properties to sell their land which will lead to private development, loss of public access, and habitat fragmentation.
Examples of Key PartnersThe Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Initiative involves multiple public and private stakeholders including Native Alaskan individual landowners and Native corporation owners of sensitive large and small parcels along world class wild salmon producing rivers and tributaries. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska State Parks Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U. S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, The Conservation Fund, Nushagak Mulchatna Wood Tikchik Land Trust, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Alaska Professional Hunters Assn, Columbia Sportswear, Dallas Safari Club, GCI, Orvis, Royal Caribbeab Cruise Lines, Vital Ground, Wildlife Forever, Woolrich, and many other donor partners.
Results and AccomplishmentsWith the strong support of major foundations and the U.S. Congress, many large and small tracts of private inholdings have been conserved, providing revenue and subsistence access to landowners, public access to the recreational industry and undimished populations of salmon and other wildlife including caribou, bears, moose, and waterfowl. The Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Initiative is in the 4th year of a dozen-year project that is targeted 450,000 acres of sensitive lands within a 40 million acre region.