Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Alaska Region

Icon of Blue Goose Compass. Click on the compass to view a map of the refuge (pdf)


Wildlife Refuge Plans to Address Cattle Damage to Islands


Unauthorized cattle interfere with nesting of native birds both directly by causing disturbance and trampling of nests, as well as indirectly by reducing the quality of nesting habitat and cover for surface and burrow-nesting birds. Photo Credit: Bob Gill/USFWS.You are invited to help the US Fish and Wildlife Service identify issues and develop alternatives to address unauthorized grazing by cattle on two refuge islands, Wosnesenski and Chirikof.  This effort is known as “scoping” and it is an early step in a process to develop either Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  These documents will identify the need for action and authority to act, summarize potential issues, evaluate a reasonable range of alternatives, and describe the affected environment and environmental consequences of alternatives. Cattle ownership and compatibility with purposes of the refuge will also be addressed.

Both Wosnesenski and Chirikof islands, located in remote Southwest Alaska, are uninhabited and part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.  The Refuge was established in 1980 to conserve marine mammals, seabirds and other migratory birds, and the marine resources upon which they rely. Wosnesenski and Chirikof islands have sustained severe impacts to wildlife habitat, native vegetation, and archaeological sites from grazing by unauthorized cattle left behind when ranchers left the islands years ago.

The deadline to submit your ideas on issues and alternatives to be considered in the NEPA documents is February 20, 2014. Submission will be accepted by any of the following methods: 

Letter:  Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge; Attention:  Cattle, 95 Sterling Hwy, Suite 1, Homer, AK 99603
Phone: 907-235-6546, or Fax: 907-235-7783

Or at open houses:

Homer - December 16, 2013, 4 to 6 p.m., Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, 95 Sterling Hwy.
Kodiak - January 7, 2014, 4 to 6 p.m., Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 402 Center St.

You will also have an opportunity to comment on the draft Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement documents after they have been prepared.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Alaska Region) is committed to ensuring access to this open house for all participants.  If you need an accommodation (i.e. sign language interpreting, large print materials, etc.), please contact Steve Delehanty  (907-226-4627 or with your request by close of business December 9 ( for the Homer open house) or December 31 (for the Kodiak open house), or as soon as practicable.

All comments received, including those from individuals, become part of the public record, and are available to the public upon request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA, and Departmental policies and procedures. Before you include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information on your comment, be aware that your entire comment, including this information, may be made available to the public upon request. You can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

If you would like to receive future correspondence regarding the unauthorized cattle issue, please contact us by any of the methods listed above.

Last updated: January 21, 2014