Groups Move to Protect Popular Replacement Habitat for Marbeled Murrelets and Other Animals

marbled_murrelet_flickr.jpgMarbled murrelet. Tom Benson/Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Termination Point may gain more permanent protection in an upcoming land rights sale. According to Kodiak Island Borough Manager, Bud Cassidy, the village corporation of Leisnoi is considering selling the land’s development rights and possibly the timber harvesting rights. The Great Land Trust, an Alaskan nonprofit that works to identify and protect conservation land, will serve as the intermediary in cooperation with the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, which is covering the financial side.

Cassidy explains Lesnoi chose Termination Point in the process that granted every valid Alaska Native corporation a claim to parcels of land.

“Termination Point was also identified as valuable replacement habitat. Meaning that after the Exxon oil spill killed a lot of waterfowl, they were looking for places generally along the coast that had habitat that supported those critters that were injured during the oil spill,” says Cassidy.

People may have spotted the animals while hiking the Termination Point trail.

“One of those was a marbled murrelet,” says Cassidy. “And marbeled murellet are sea birds that nest in old-growth forests, so you could see that termination point had some value because it was an old-growth forest.”

You may see marbeled murrelets bobbing on the surface of the water by Termination. You can recognize them by their round, little bodies and their white and sooty-brown or black feathers.

Cassidy says the Great Land Trust will present to the Assembly at its regular meeting on Thursday in order to ask the Borough if it will hold the easement to public access. You can hear more about the trade by tuning into KMXT tomorrow at 7:20am, for the midday news at 12:06, or for the evening news a little after 5 p.m.

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