Chiganalgux (river, in Aleut)

The CIRI Land and Resources Department initiated several river bank restoration projects on the Kenai Peninsula this summer to ensure strong, healthy rivers for fish habitat on CIRI land. CIRI worked in coordination with both federal and state regulatory agencies and nonprofit conservation groups who share the same vision and goals for healthy habitat.

North Fork Deep Creek
CIRI worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on this restoration project located approximately four miles from Oil Well Road, along a former, now closed, timber road. Deep Creek is an anadromous waterway whose fish habitat health plays a vital role in CIRI shareholders’ lives in the Kenai Peninsula area. The project stabilized both sides of the bank where a former logging road bridge in need of repairs was removed. To accomplish this, CIRI and USFWS utilized felt leaf willow, coir logs, native seed and biodegradable erosion-control matting. The new seedlings were hand watered to ensure their survival in the summer heat. CIRI and USFWS completed the project in June.

Ninilchik River
The State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) held a two-day Restoration Workshop located at their weir site on CIRI land at Brody Bridge on the Ninilchik River. The purpose of the June workshop was to provide technical education about fish habitat and restoration techniques. During the seminar, approximately 50 feet of impacted fish habitat was restored using bio-engineered techniques, including brush techniques similar to the North Fork of Deep Creek project discussed above. In addition, two 24-foot by 8-foot elevated gratewalks were installed as stairways to the riverbed to help protect the willow regrowth.

Unnamed stream in former timber tract 3
A pinched culvert over a spawning stream was replaced by the Kenai Watershed Forum with a larger diameter culvert. As part of the project, the road members were strengthened for the road into the Cook Inlet Tribal Youth Camp.

CIRI contractor and shareholder Dean Kvasnikoff of Alaska Native Resource Consultants oversaw and provided logistical support and technical knowledge to the projects. Dean enjoys the field work and says, “it’s peace of mind knowing that we are leaving the area in better shape for our future CIRI shareholders.”

Unfortunately, the North Fork of Deep Creek project did experience some damage due to trespass ATV (all terrain vehicle) use. Hopefully, getting the word out about these efforts to protect our resources will discourage trespassing and the actions that undo the hard work of those who have participated in these restoration activities.

Although these particular projects are in the Kenai Peninsula area, CIRI also evaluates and manages CIRI land elsewhere for future CIRI shareholder generations. For further information, please contact Cindi Bettin, CIRI’s land administrator, at (907) 263-5140 or by email at [email protected].