May 7, 2021 – In 2017 the Trust purchased the largest remaining private inholding in the Chuck River Wilderness in Alaska. This project was particularly meaningful for our dedicated lands staff because it represented our first land acquisition project in Alaska.
The 154-acre property is located at the head of Windham Bay, approximately three hours southeast of Juneau by boat and across from the Admiralty Island National Monument. It includes a complex of eight mining claims dating back to 1869, and evidence of past mining activity can still be found amongst a few discarded and rusting pieces of equipment on the property.
Thanks to your generous support, this property now has a brighter future as federally designated wilderness. This week we transferred this land to the U.S. Forest Service for permanent protection as part of the Chuck River Wilderness, a rugged, untamed rainforest home to grizzly and black bear, moose, wolves and many other species.
By acquiring this property, we eliminated the potential for future mining within the wilderness designation. Upon transfer to public ownership, we have expanded the size of the Chuck River Wilderness and enhanced a public recreation experience by preserving the scenic panorama of Windham Bay.
Acquisition of wilderness inholdings remains the highest priority for land acquisition in the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan. With your support, we will continue our partnership with the USFS to help achieve that goal and create further wilderness protection in Alaska.