U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Visit a Wildlife Refuge

National wildlife refuges are far more than havens for wild plants and animals. In fact, visitors–nearly 40 million each year–are welcome on 98 percent of wildlife refuge land. Visitors enjoy a variety of out door activities, especially hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, interpretation, and environmental education.

Overview

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.

Visitors and Educators will find environmental education and natural and cultural history interpretation is provided at refuges in the form of visitor centers, displays, handouts, informative staffs, and websites. Come visit an Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for a once in a lifetime experience that is meant to be experienced throughout a lifetime.

Please visit the on-line bookstore at Alaska Geographics for maps, travel guides, and our suggested reading section.

Panoramic View of Tetlin Refuge Visitor Center. Photo credit: R. Primmer/USFWS

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 and displays. Learn about Kanuti and Arctic Refuges at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot and Betles Ranger Station, both visitor centers help visitors prepare for, enjoy , and participate safely in a variety of recreational opportunities on Federal public lands.

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.

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 various other commercial, scientific, and occupancy uses. 

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