Restoration Categories - Habitat Acquisition & Protection

The protection of habitat is an important component of the Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration program. The acquisition of private lands or partial interests in private lands promotes the natural recovery of spill-injured resources and associated services by removing the threat posed by additional development impacts. The program is implemented by state and federal resource agencies, often in partnership with non-governmental organizations. The habitat program has protected approximately 650,000 acres of valuable habitat through a variety of purchases of various property rights, ranging from fee simple acquisition to conservation and timber easements. The goals of the habitat protection program remain viable. Resource and land management agencies, such as the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, continue to receive parcel nominations for Council consideration. Approximately $24 million remains within the habitat subaccount for future habitat protection efforts. The Council is considering alternatives for allocation of these funds. For example, half of the funds remaining may be allocated to the purchase of large parcels within a period of two to three years, and the remaining half to a program spanning a 12-year period focused on the protection of small parcels less than 1,000 acres or $1 million in price. The Council proposes to utilize the approximately $24 million remaining to continue the habitat program. A variety of administrative options, funding allocations, time frames, and management strategies will be considered.