Chugach Alaska Corporation (Chugach) is one of the thirteen regional Alaska Native corporations created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) as amended by the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA). The Chugach Region comprises some 10 million acres in South-central Alaska. Chugach is entitled to 928,000 acres, of which approximately 378,000 acres are full fee entitlement and 550,000 acres of subsurface estate. At this time, Chugach has received 94% of its total entitlement. Chugach has selected lands that have potential for economic development including commercial timber land, mineral estates as well as lands that have potential for tourism, and lands of cultural and historical importance to the Chugach people.
The coastal portions of the Chugach region support mixed sitka spruce and western hemlock forests. Natural regeneration and short maturation periods make this renewable resource a strong asset for the corporation and its shareholders. Chugach employs ecologically sound timber management strategies and follows the Forest Practices Act, Best Management Practices, to ensure this resource is available for future generations.
Historically, the Chugach region was one of the foremost mining regions in Alaska. The Beatson mine on Latouche Island and the Ellamar mine near Tatitlek yielded over 200 million pounds of copper, 52,000 ounces of gold and 1.7 million ounces of silver before closing down in the 1930’s. In addition to the properties located along the Central VMS Belt, which hosts both Besshi and Cyprus type deposits, Chugach owns mineralized property along the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, in the Kenai Fjords, Cordova, the Copper River Valley, and the Gulf Coast.
The Chugach region has some of the most unique and opportune tourism areas in the state. High mountain vistas, tidewater and alpine glaciers, deep fjords, protected bays and inlets, abundance of wildlife and access from major population centers make this region ideally suited for the tourism industry. Chugach owns lands within and adjacent to the Chugach National Forest and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Unique landmarks include some of the largest non-polar glaciers in the world. The Columbia, Bering and Malaspina Glaciers are all accessible from Chugach’s lands. Mount Saint Elias rises from the protected waters of Icy Bay to 18,008 feet, the fourth highest mountain in North America. A major portion of Chugach’s lands lie within the Prince William Sound, which is well recognized as a visitor’s paradise.