USFWS
Conservation Planning & Policy
Alaska Region   

Comprehensive Conservation Plans

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare and periodically update conservation plans for all national wildlife refuges in Alaska. These plans provide the foundation for managing all activities and uses consistent with the purposes of the refuges.

Comprehensive Conservation Plans
Refuge
Completion Date
Document
Alaska Maritime
1988
Alaska Peninsula/Becharof
2005
Arctic
2015
Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Wilderness Review, and Wild and Scenic River Review
Innoko
2008
Izembek
1985
Kanuti
2008
Kenai
2009
Kodiak
2008
Koyukuk/Nowitna
2009
Selawik
2011
Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan
Tetlin
2008
Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan
Togiak
2009
Comprehensive Conservation Plan
Yukon Delta
1988
Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, Wilderness Review, and Wild River Plan
Yukon Flats
1987
Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, and Wilderness Review

The first conservation plans for all Alaska refuges were completed between 1985 and 1988; we are in the process of revising them (click to see revision schedule (pdf)). The revised plans will provide a refuge vision for the next 15 years, with goals and objectives for wildlife-dependent public uses, subsistence opportunities, fish and wildlife, habitat, research, and monitoring.

In general, a comprehensive conservation plan does the following:

  • Ensures that the purposes of the refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System are being fulfilled
  • Ensures that national policy direction is incorporated into the management of the refuge
  • Ensures that opportunities are available for interested parties to participate in the development of management direction
  • Provides a systematic process for making and documenting refuge decisions and establish broad management strategies for refuge management programs and activities
  • Provides a basis for evaluating accomplishments

Public involvement is critical to the development of meaningful conservation plans. For each revised plan, we develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Scoping helps us identify the issues and the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts we need to address as we develop the revised plans. Draft plans are available for public comment for 45 to 90 days. We then prepare a final conservation plan and environmental impact statement. The comprehensive conservation planning process (pdf) outlines the steps we follow in developing the comprehensive conservation plans.

A refuge implements its comprehensive conservation plan by means of several step-down plans, each of which has its own focus and revision schedule. Step-down management plans are plans that deal with specific management subjects. They describe management strategies and implementation schedules and provide details necessary to fulfill management goals and objectives identified in the comprehensive conservation plan. Contact any refuge for a list of its current refuge-specific step-down plans.

Last updated: October 2017

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