Chinook Conservation Park
Our Vision for the Cripple Creek Parcel
The two large culverts placed under Chena Ridge road this summer are an important part of our plan with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to restore historic Cripple Creek to its original stream bed and protect salmon habitat in the Interior. The old flow was disrupted during mining operations in the Ester area in the 1930s and is being restored in a collaborative effort with IALT, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, and many others. The enhancements of these fish passages will improve juvenile Chinook salmon rearing habitat within the Chena River Watershed. With the culverts in place, only two more steps remain in the restoration project: replace the failing culverts at Chena Spur Road and redirect the water flow from Cripple Creek drain to the historic Cripple Creek channel via Happy Creek through a series of weirs or a dam.
With the generous support of the NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program, we have plans underway to develop a public conservation park with trails, bridges, and access to the newly-restored historic Cripple Creek channel. We envision a mix of non-motorized and motorized summer trails, as well as groomed ski and snowmachine trails. Check out the concept maps below:
Update: Restoration of Historic Cripple Creek
Have you noticed the very large culverts off of Chena Pump road? They’re an important part of our plan with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to restore historic Cripple Creek to its original stream bed and protect salmon habitat in the Interior! The old flow was disrupted during mining operations in the Ester area in the 1930s and is being restored in a collaborative effort with the Interior Alaska Land Trust, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, and many others. The enhancements of these fish passages will improve juvenile Chinook Salmon rearing habitat within the Chena River Watershed!
The first of two culverts has been installed. The contractor laid insulation board beneath and along the side of the excavated area, installed the culvert, and is now working on back-fill.
Read more about the history of the project HERE.
Art & Conservation
Local Artist pledges proceeds to new conservation easement
Local Fairbanks artist Sara Tabbert has a show opening Saturday, July 21st at the UAF University Art Gallery* and has pledged half of her sale proceeds to land conservation in the Goldstream Valley!
Tabbert’s goal is to raise the necessary stewardship funds for a new conservation easement on her property in Goldstream. Any additional proceeds beyond what is required for stewardship will go toward current IALT fundraising efforts to conserve a 40-acre parcel south of the Peat Ponds (scroll down for more info on this project)! This is a wonderful way to support local art and the conservation of lands you love!
Saturday’s opening reception is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. We hope you can join us Saturday to support local arts and land conservation in Fairbanks. Show is only up from July 21-29, so don’t wait!
Cotton Grass, carved and painted yellow cedar
* Gallery located within the Art Department wing of the Fine Arts Complex, Room 313. On the left side of the Great Hall, the Gallery is the first door to the left immediately upon entering the wing.
40 Acres Added to the Goldstream Greenbelt Project!
Support needed to help reach fundraising goal of $20,000
We just added 40 acres to the Goldstream Greenbelt and we need your help! IALT purchased this new parcel south of the Peat Ponds with support from a Conservation Fund loan. Our goal is to raise $20,000 – and we have a private donor willing to MATCH donations up to $10,000!
Please consider donating to support and conserve recreational green space in our community – your donation will go twice as far!
Ways to Contribute:
- The yellow “make a donation” button on the right-hand side of this website.
- By check to “Interior Alaska Land Trust” sent to:
- PO Box 84169, Fairbanks, AK 99708
- Volunteer with us!
“This parcel is a critical piece of the puzzle conserving important wetlands habitat and recreational opportunities in Goldstream Valley,” according to IALT Board President Owen Guthrie. “The Fairbanks community has been great in supporting our efforts to maintain the spaces and qualities of life so many cherish. The Conservation Fund’s partnership was invaluable in allowing us to act with agility when this opportunity presented itself.”
“The Interior Alaska Land Trust has a fabulous vision for Fairbanks” said John Wros, the Alaska Associate at The Conservation Fund. “The Conservation Fund is pleased to support their ongoing efforts to invest in the community through preservation of urban wildlands.”
Stay tuned for events in the area to support this effort.
The Lawlor Hay Fields
Our latest sustainable agriculture & conservation easement
The Interior Alaska Land Trust is very pleased to announce the completion of a sustainable agriculture and conservation easement on the Lawlor Hay Fields. This 79-acre property is owned by the Mayo Family Trust and farmed by its current stewards, Happy Gap Farm. About 7 acres of the property are woods and over 70 acres are cleared fields used for hay production and pasture. The fields contain Brome grass and a variety of wild grasses enjoyed by migratory birds, moose, fox, lynx, hare, and human visitors year-round. Popular walking, skiing, and running section-line trails offer wonderful scenic overlooks and wildlife viewing opportunities. Well-used and well-loved, neighbors are celebrating the protection of a favorite neighborhood green space.
“What I love about this field is the openness – I enjoy it all seasons. I love hearing the grass in the wind, the stillness of the snow. My favorite are the cranes – coming and going.” – anonymous neighbor
“Every single time I step out here, I feel like I’m transformed into a magical space of quiet and peace.” – Cyndie, neighbor
“Thank you for sharing your beautiful place in Alaska with everyone, Gail.” – Kitty, neighbor
ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re Accredited!
We’re very pleased to announce that the Interior Alaska Land Trust (IALT) has achieved national recognition – joining a network of 398 accredited land trusts across the nation! The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded us accreditation, signifying its confidence that lands we conserve will be protected forever.
We had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Board extends a big thank you to all our volunteers, community partners, and members for their ongoing support!
“It is exciting to recognize IALT with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes IALT has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
Cripple Creek Restoration Project
You may notice some construction taking place along Chena Pump Road near Cripple Creek. What’s happening? IALT has begun an exciting habitat and restoration project in this tributary of the Chena River Watershed. READ MORE…
Peat Ponds Improvements Completed!
This summer, thanks to a generous grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, we built a new trail around the ponds, added some interpretive signs and a new bird watching platform. READ MORE…