Visitor Services & Fire Management
Alaska Region
  Visit A Refuge
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Visitors to National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska can experience some of the best wildlife related activities that the Last Frontier has to offer. Hunting and fishing opportunities abound on refuges from Izembek on the Alaska Peninsula to Selawik in the northwestern part of the state. Wildlife viewing and photography possibilities on refuges are numerous and varied, from Bering Sea fur seals and seabirds at Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to waterfowl migrations at Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern border with Canada.

Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges are open to the public year-round.  There are no entrance fees or permits required for personal recreation or subsistence activities, such as hunting, fishing, berry picking, camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, or photography.  

Alaska MaritimeAlaska PeninsulaArctic,Becharof Innoko, IzembekKanutiKenai,KodiakKoyukukNowitnaSelawikTetlin, TogiakYukon DeltaYukon Flats

Whate we Do
Our office promotes and supports the highest quality visitor experience on Alaska's National Wildlife Refuges. We facilitate a strategic education and outreach program aimed at building long term relationships and public support for Alaska's refuges. We also manage cultural resources on refuge lands.  
  Visitor Services  
Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges welcome visitors at centers around the state. Starting at the Alaska/Canada border on the ALCAN Highway, visitors can learn about the local culture and migrating waterfowl at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. In south central Alaska, visitors to the Kenai Peninsula learn about the varied recreational opportunities on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge from visitor center staff in Soldotna.  The Islands and Oceans Visitor Center in Homer explores the millions of sea birds that visit Alaska’s far flung coastlines and islands and the scientists who study them.  At the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center you can explore the Kodiak Brown Bear through exhibits, displays, or their “Coffee with a Ranger” Programs. 

Learn about Kanuti and Arctic refuges at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, Alaska which serves people travelling the Dalton Highway.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also partners with other federal and state agencies to provide visitor services in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Tok called Alaska Public Lands Information Centers.

Public lands in Alaska also partners with Alaska Geographic to offer books, maps, travel guides on-line or at refuge visitor centers.

Refuge Permits

special use permit is not required for the general public to visit a national wildlife refuge engage in wildlife-dependent recreational activities such as wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, photography, environmental education, interpretation, hiking, and camping. Visitors must comply with all pertinent refuge regulations, State and Federal laws, and State hunting and fishing regulations.

Special use permits are required for. . 

Visitors and educators will find environmental education and natural and cultural history interpretation is provided at refuges in the form of videos, displays, handouts, friendly and informative staff, and on-line resources.

Each year the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska collaborates with rural villages to help connect children to science, nature and culture. We fund, plan, and instruct alongside Alaska Native elders at Science and Traditional Knowledge camps each summer from Kodiak to Kaktovik.

Hunting and Fishing
In Alaska, hunting is a part of our traditions and an important source of food for most residents. Alaska is a world renown destination for hunting and fishing, and for Alaska’s rural subsistence users. All of the public lands in the refuge are open to both recreational and subsistence hunting and fishing.  Caribou, moose, Dall sheep and bears are most frequently sought by hunters, while salmon is the most sought after fish.  

In addition to its wildlife resources, the National Wildlife Refuge System is steward to a rich cultural and historic legacy.  Refuges in Alaska preserve 14,000 years of human history from the earliest settlers of the New World to Euro-American homesteaders and miners.  Cultural resources are archaeological sites, places associated with important events or people, sacred and cultural sites, and buildings and structures. 

The 4,000 known sites on refuges in Alaska belong to at least 20 prehistoric traditions, record the heritage of every modern Alaska Native group, and over 250 years of Euro-American colonization.  Cultural treasures on Alaska refuges include prehistoric camps and villages, natural features associated with supernatural beings and monsters, gold rush ghost towns, roadhouses, trapping camps, and Alaska’s first producing oil well.  Other nationally significant treasures include Russia’s first settlement in Alaska at Three Saints Bay, the Iditarod National Historic Trail, and well preserved World War II remains in the Aleutian Islands. 

These places create personal links between people, our shared past, and the land around us. As a land-managing agency, the USFWS is committed to protecting and managing these irreplaceable resources in a spirit of stewardship for future generations to understand and enjoy. 

  The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the National Wilderness Preservation System, which today has grown to more than 104 million acres nationwide.    In Alaska, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 21 designated Wilderness areas totaling approximately 18.6 million acres on 10 National Wildlife Refuge units.  
Volunteers and Community Partnerships
The USFWS in Alaska offers a variety of once in a lifetime volunteer adventures in wildlife conservation. During the busy summer field season you can serve by assisting field biologists, teaching children about nature, providing information to visitors, carpentry projects, operating field camps, or collecting video footage.
Wildlife Viewing and Photography