Kasilof River parcel added to Alaska State Parks

The Dinosaur Parcel, named for its unique shape, has long been prioritized for conservation

A section of the Kasilof River estuary called “the Dinosaur Parcel,” sized at 309 acres, has been added to the Alaska State Parks system for conservation. The move was announced by the State Department of Natural Resources and The Conservation Fund on Wednesday last week.

According to a release from the department, the Dinosaur Parcel, named for its unique shape, has long been prioritized for conservation.

“Moving the Dinosaur Parcel into the State Parks system furthers our Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation’s mission that includes providing outdoor recreation opportunities as well as conserving natural, cultural, and historic resources for the people of Alaska,” Commissioner John Boyle said in the release.

The Dinosaur Parcel was purchased by The Conservation Fund from the University of Alaska, the release said. According to their website, that purchase happened in 2021. They say the Kasilof River is “one of the most ecologically significant rivers” on the Kenai Peninsula — with the Dinosaur Parcel hosting 165 bird species, 37 of which are identified for conservation by the Department of Fish and Game.

At the time of the sale, The Conservation Fund said they were looking to work with the Department of Natural Resources to have the space added to State Parks — a move which was completed this month.

Funding for the transfer was provided by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, ConocoPhillips, the Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture and the Alaska Conservation Foundation.

“The project conserves valuable habitat for important fish and wildlife species, increases wildlife-based recreational opportunities along the Kasilof River, and contributes to the local economy — a win-win-win for Alaskans, the community, and the species we care about,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska Region Coastal Program Coordinator Michael Daigneault in the release.

For more information about The Conservation Fund, visit conservationfund.org.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.