Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the SEAL Trust owns or holds conservation easements at the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge. The nonprofit owns or holds conservation easements in areas above the refuge. The article has been updated to reflect the change.
The Southeast Alaska Land Trust recently expanded its footprint in the Juneau area.
The nonprofit, which conserves over 3,500 acres of land for environmental, cultural or historic reasons, announced on Tuesday the purchase of wetlands located near the Herbert River. SEAL Trust supporter Kristi Allen, who lives near the wetlands, used money from her father David R. Allen’s estate to help fund the project.
“She lives out there in the neighborhood (of the land) and when she heard that the previous owner of this property was interested in selling, she came to us about the possibility of SEAL Trust being involved,” Krista Garrett, SEAL Trust interim executive director, said.
Garrett said many of SEAL Trust’s purchases are funded through the wetland mitigation program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, the Trust purchased these wetlands all through private funds thanks to donations from Allen and the late Marge and Ed Huizer. Garrett declined to share how much the land was purchased for.
The property runs next to the Herbert River Wetlands, which is owned by the city but protected through a conservation easement held by SEAL Trust. Together, the area provides habitat to black bears, beavers, birds, salmon and other fish. SEAL Trust has dubbed the wetlands the “Very Beary Berry Wetlands.”
“That property is 147 acres and this adds another 70 acres, so it sort of makes this contiguous body of land that is great,” Amanda Pilley, SEAL Trust Communications & Development Coordinator, said. “There’s a tributary of the Herbert River that goes through the property and it’s well-known for spawning and rearing of lots and lots of fish.”
SEAL Trust owns or holds conservation easements for over 400 acres of land in the Juneau area, including sites such as the Jensen-Olson Arboretum and near the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge.
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