Sept. 5, 2008 PALMER – On Sat., Sept. 13, The Nature Conservancy, along with ConocoPhillips Alaska and the Matanuska-Susitna (MAT-SU) Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, will host the 3rd annual Wild Salmon Celebration, 12 noon-3 p.m. at Kepler-Bradley Lakes State Recreation Area. A free picnic and fun activities will be on hand, including a salmon education display from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.
The celebration is in its third year of showcasing projects that benefit salmon and salmon habitat in the MAT-SU. A variety of salmon conservation efforts have been identified by the MAT-SU Salmon Partnership, which is a group of local communities, landowners, agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote healthy fish and habitat in the MAT-SU.
One recent restoration project, led by The Nature Conservancy, replaced inadequate culverts at Colter Creek, the second largest tributary to the Little Susitna River.
“Our goal was to improve habitat to help restore passage of juvenile fish,” said Corinne Smith, the Conservancy's MAT-SU Basin Program Director. “We couldn't have successfully completed this large-scale restoration effort without the support of our partners.”
The efforts of the MAT-SU Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership are also catching national attention. This year the U.S. Department of the Interior recognized the Partnership as a recipient of the Cooperative Conservation Award. The award recognizes conservation activities that involve diverse collaborative groups including federal, state, local and tribal governments, nonprofits and individuals. An award presentation will be held on Sept. 16, at the MAT-SU Assembly meeting.