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Former Homer Fisherman Honored for Salmon Habitat Protection

Heimbuch recognized by Kachemak Heritage Land Trust.

At its meeting earlier this month the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust recognized a former Homer resident for her role in protecting critical salmon habitat. The “King-Maker” award was given to Hannah Heimbuch, a commercial fisherman now living in Kodiak.

The award ceremony was held during the group’s annual meeting on December 8, held virtually over Zoom. KHLT has given the award since 2016.

In addition to commercial fishing, Heimbuch (hime-buck) works as the Alaska Marine Conservation Council’s community fisheries organizer, and advocates for protecting salmon habitat and fishing sustainably.

Heimbuch said it was an honor to be named one of the Land Trust's Kingmakers. She said that working with KHLT was formative early on in her professional life as a fisherman and a conservation advocate, and helped shape her understanding of land stewardship.

She said she was grateful for the “ecosystem” of naturalists, scientists, harvesters, artists, advocates and all-around dedicated community members that connect through KHLT. She said the shared love for wild places, renewable resources, and relationship “to place” inspires her every day.

KHLT Board President Donna Aderhold said that as a fellow board member, Heimbuch was adept at boiling big concepts and difficult conversations down to terms everyone could understand and discuss.

Land Trust Executive Director Marie McCarty said the King-Maker award is the organization’s way of celebrating people who do good for salmon. Conservation Program Manager Lauren Rusin, agreed, saying Heimbuch understands the importance of land habitat to the commercial fishing industry and has been vital to disseminating that information.

Past winners of the King Maker Award are Dan Pascucci, Paul and Jen Castellani, Kathy Heindl, Mark Wackler, Greg Bush and Jane Middleton.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.