Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
Conservation Planning for Habitat Connectivity and Federal Protection of the Chilkat Valley, Alaska
Lynn Canal Conservation
The Greater Chilkat Watershed (GCW), located in the northern part of Southeast Alaska, lies at the head of the Lynn Canal and the northern terminus of the Inside Passage, a natural sheltered sea route extending for more than 1,000 miles. The region has long served as one of the only migratory corridors linking the Alaska coast to the state’s interior. Despite the irreplaceable biological and economic value of the GCW, this area has the least amount of conserved land of any province in Southeast Alaska and is facing increasing threats from industrial timber harvesting, habitat fragmentation, and climate change. This project will conduct spatial analyses to generate insight on conservation priority areas for two indicator species in the valley, sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) and mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus). To preserve this region’s unique biodiversity, these results will act as a stepping stone for local nonprofit Lynn Canal Conservation (LCC) to pursue federal protection in the watershed under the current administration’s 30x30 plan.
Client Contact: Jessica Plachta