U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Alaska's Lands & Waters

In Alaska, we are shared stewards of world renowned natural resources and our nation's last true wild places.  The lands and waters of this place we call home nourish a vast and unique array of fish, wildlife and people.our nation's 

  • Wildlife Refuges: We manage 16 national wildlife refuges that are part of a nationwide network, totaling 76,774,229 acres.  Alaska refuges are some of the nation's last true wild places on earth, ranging in size from the 303,094 acres Izembek Refuge at the end of the Alaska Peninsula, to the 19.6 million acre Arctic Refuge stretching from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean.
  • Fish Habitats: Diverse,  connected habitat is the foundation upon which Alaska’s world class fisheries solidly rest. In Alaska, fish inhabit, move among, and migrate between a huge variety of habitat types to meet their needs and complete their life cycle. Wetlands: Alaska's abundance of rivers, lakes, wetlands, snowfields, and glaciers comprise an estimated 40 percent of the Nation's surface water.
  • Wetlands: Alaska's abundance of rivers, lakes, wetlands, snowfields, and glaciers comprise an estimated 40 percent of the Nation's surface water. There are more than 12,000 rivers in Alaska, and three of those rivers, the Yukon, the Kuskokwim, and the Copper, are among the ten largest rivers in the United States. Alaska has more than 3 million lakes ranging from pond size to 1,000 square miles.

It is difficult to imagine the size of Alaska's refuges. They range in size from 303,094-acres Izembek Refuge to Arctic Refuge at nearly 19.6 million acres. Izembek Refuge is larger than all but six of the national wildlife refuges in the other 49 states. Arctic Refuge is larger than the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey and Massachusetts combined.  

Alaska comparison to the lower 48 states
Alaska comparison to the lower 48 states. Credit: USFWS