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Pedro Bay Corporation has signed a land access agreement with the University of Washington to conduct freshwater fish studies on Pedro Bay land. Researchers from the university will access remote sites by helicopter between Aug. 8 and Aug. 30, and will stay at each site for about one hour.

The study is being underwritten by the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, and aims to identify Native allotment inholdings on Pedro Bay lands that may be considered for future conservation easements.

Researchers will work to determine the species and life stages of freshwater fish from the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers. Researchers will determine the temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen levels, turbidity, conductivity and flow of the streams. The fish will be tested by Alaska Department of Fish and Game-approved electrofishing techniques and returned unharmed to the streams from where they were taken.

The research results will help with discussions in future conservation easements, including federal legislation that recently passed the House and is headed to the Senate. A provision in House Bill 4719 creates a permanent tax reduction for “charitable contributions of food inventory,” and gives a tax benefit for land conservation. Should the bill pass, lands owned by Alaska Native Corporations would receive the same treatment and benefits as farm and ranch lands.

Pedro Bay Corporation urges shareholders to call Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich to encourage their support in passing this bill.

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