Peat Ponds

2017 Projects/Improvements:

In mid-to-late June of 2017, trails work will take place to create a loop around the ponds – visitors can hike year-round and snowshoe or ski in the winter.

A bird watching platform will be constructed in late spring, early summer of 2017. Volunteer help will be needed, so please stay tuned for the call to action! If you are interested in helping out, please email us (
Bird watching at the Peat Ponds offers visitors a chance to view horned grebes, American widgeons, many species of duck, the rare Rusty blackbird, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, and a variety of shorebirds, just to name a few.

Property Background:
In 2003, the Interior Alaska Land Trust was approached by Dan Himebauch of Exclusive Landscaping. He owned 25 acres (sub-divided into 5 parcels) at the intersection of Sheep Creek Road and Murphy Dome Road. He had mined peat from the properties, and in negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers, had agreed on a permit stipulation for the excavation work on the property that stated: “…the parcel will be donated to an appropriate entity for the purpose of wildlife habitat. A deed restriction shall be placed on the parcel stating it shall remain undeveloped…”

The final reclamation work was done in the spring of 2006, and the property was donated to the Interior Alaska Land Trust subject to the following Deed Restrictions:

  • The property may not be subdivided or sold.
  • The property may not be used for commercial purposes.
  • The property may only be used for conservation purposes.

Since reclamation, the property has become an outstanding birding site, used by both spring and fall migrants and nesting waterfowl in the summer. It includes both a deep-water pond and shallow wetlands. The property is used for recreation year-round, including skating and skiing in the winter, and canoeing, birding and walking in the summer. The reclamation left one driveway and a parking area. The property also provides valuable hydrological functions (water storage and filtration, water table stability for surrounding wetlands and Goldstream Creek), and other landscape functions (Goldstream Road stability, limiting melting and drainage of uphill ice lenses).