Yukon Flats NWR protects a large, natural and diverse ecosystem which provides an excellent living laboratory for scientific research. The refuge has a strong biological program. Staff members cooperate with universities, graduate students, and other state, federal and private agencies to study and monitor fish, wildlife and habitats. Recent studies have focused on black bears, chum salmon, in-stream water flows, lesser scaup, moose, northern pike, sheefish (or inconnu), white-winged scoters and yellow warblers.
The fire management program is one of the most active in the state. Refuge staff work with the Alaska Fire Service, Doyon, Limited (the Native Regional Corporation), local tribal governments and state agencies to maintain a near-natural fire regime. In areas near villages where large wildland fires must be suppressed, prescribed burns and mechanical treatments are conducted in cooperation with local villages to help maintain the role of fire in the ecosystem and to reduce wildfire risk.
Refuge staff members work directly with local residents, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Federal Office of Subsistence Management to ensure that there are continued opportunities for subsistence uses by local rural residents within the refuge. This is accomplished by monitoring fish and wildlife populations and harvest levels, and working with local residents to develop practical and enforceable regulations.There are frequent requests to access and use refuge lands for a variety of non-wildlife related purposes. One of the staff's management responsibilities is to ensure that all activities that are permitted on the refuge are consistent with its mission to conserve fish, wildlife and habitats in their natural diversity.Outreach and environmental education are important management activities. Staff members work with local residents, schools, the media and other partners to educate and inform the public about the refuge, fish and wildlife, conservation practicies, and the types of activities that are encouraged on our National Wildlife Refuge System lands.
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More than 150 species of birds dominate the landscape during spring and summer on the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge