KODIAK (AP) The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly has endorsed state acquisition of 17,000 acres of North Afognak Island. The move came Thursday.
If the state agrees, conservation groups who are brokering the deal will match funds with Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement money and federal wetland grants to purchase the land for $21 million from several Native corporations. The land will then be turned over to the state for recreation and habitat management.
The land extends from Delphin Bay through Perenosa Bay to Seal Bay. It is critical habitat for Roosevelt elk, brown bear, Sitka deer, salmon and seabirds, including two species that have not yet recovered from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The land also includes a Sitka spruce forest that contains 300- to 400-year-old trees.
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council acquired land to the east and west of sale area in the 1990s. The biologically rich island was among the areas hit hardest by the 1989 oil spill.
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