For years, locals have needed a permit to hike the Termination Point trail, but now they can explore the property without the permit or the accompanying fee.
This spring, the Native Corporation Leisnoi passed along the land’s conservation easement to the Kodiak Island Borough. That means that land development is now prohibited, and the property is open to public access.
Land conservation nonprofit, the Great Land Trust, arranged the transfer of the easement with funding from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.
The Great Land Trust executive director Ellen Kazary says the organization finds habitats that the Exxon Valdez oil spill impacted. The ones that are most in need of protection are bumped up to the top of their list.
“And Termination Point almost 20 years ago was identified by the community of Kodiak and then reaffirmed with this prioritization as a high priority valuable piece of property with great habitat, wet lands, coastal shore line and recreation opportunities, which was also an impacted measure, as a high priority to protect with conservation.”
The Great Land Trust had been looking for a group to hold the easement when it approached the borough a couple of years ago.
Kazary says now that the deal is done, Leisnoi still owns the land, but it sold its development rights.
“And that’s what the conservation easement is… to conserve the habitat value, you can’t clear cut, you can’t subdivide so they’ve sold those possible development rights. The Kodiak Island Borough then basically takes on the role as manager of the public use of the land.”
The same partners are also working on transferring the conservation easement to Long Island.
Kazary says, right now, they’re working on details around the environmental review, a standard part of land deals. She says Long Island is a former military site and they need to find any possible contaminants before moving forward.
The Great Land Trust and its partners will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony out at White Sands Beach on June 2 at 3:30 p.m. A hike along Termination will follow.