From a joint press release from the organizations involved:
A new Kenai Peninsula land deal guarantees public access to a popular fishing destination on the Anchor River.
This month The Nature Conservancy transferred 75 acres at the mouth of the Anchor River to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for the benefit of long-term habitat management. The area has a devoted following among king salmon and steelhead anglers in Southcentral Alaska.
“This move is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Lynn Whitmore, a local fishing legend and resident of Anchor River.“This is truly a special river, a special piece of land, and a special place to fish for kings. Fishermen are happy to see it publically-owned and protected from here on.”
Since purchasing the land in 2009, the Conservancy and other conservation partners have worked with the state to acquire private and federal funds that allowed it to purchase these habitat parcels at cost.
While the privately-owned area was previously accessible, that public access was never guaranteed. Now, the land will be managed for habitat and recreation by the DNR.
“This lands transfer is a big victory for all Alaskans,” said Randy Hagenstein, director of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska. “The mouth of the Anchor River has been a treasured fishing hot spot for decades, and has served as vital rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead for thousands of years. Public ownership of this land will guarantee access for all Alaskans for decades to come.”