Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Afognak Island purchase win for hunters, outdoors people

The purchase of land and timber rights on Alaska's Afognak Island is good news for hunters and outdoor people. The land was formerly privately owned, but now will be managed by the state's Department of Natural Resources. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was one of the organizations that added funds to the mix needed to buy the valuable land.

In its news release, RMEF said, "The purchase permanently conserves 4,400 acres of exceptional coastal habitat for Sea Otter, Kodiak Bears and Roosevelt Elk in storm-sheltered Perenosa Bay, on the northern coast of Afognak Island. Adjacent and nearby coastal lands totaling nearly 200,000 acres are already in public ownership, including Afognak Island State Park, Shuyak Island State Park, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge."

Afognak is the home of Alaska's largest transplanted elk populations: about 900 animals from a small herd introduced in 1929.

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