U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Planning & Policy

The mission of the Office of Conservation Planning and Policy is to provide refuge managers with information and a framework for making informed decisions to prepare long-range plans necessary for the proper administration of the 16 national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Working cooperatively with refuge staff and other stakeholders ensures that the recognized priority uses of our refuges—such as wildlife-dependent recreation and traditional subsistence activities are protected and the biological integrity of refuge lands is preserved for generations to come.

Planning meeting. Photo Credit: Susan Georgette/USFWS
Planning meeting. Photo Credit: Susan Georgette/USFWS

Refuge Plans

Learn about refuge planning and the plans for each refuge as they exist today.

Refuge Plans

Compatibility Determinations

A compatibility determination is a written determination, created by the refuge manager and the regional chief of refuges, signifying that a proposed or existing use of a national wildlife refuge is or is not a compatible use. Compatibility determinations are required for all economic and public-use activities, as well as for recreational and educational facilities provided by the refuge and for refuge management economic activities.

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National Environmental Policy Act

This Act is the basic national charter for protecting the environment. NEPA establishes policy, sets goals, and provides a means for carrying out the policy. It is a critical part of planning and policy for Alaska's wildlife refuges.

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Every successful organization has a framework of policies, which provide for the effective accomplishment of its work, and a process for making good management decisions that reflect organizational history and mission. Over time, policies must evolve to address new and changing uses, issues, and opportunities. The Office of Conservation Planning and Policy assists the public and refuge managers in interpreting and, if needed, developing policies necessary for the effective administration of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska.

The following link provides interested citizens with access to the policies that guide refuge management:  National Policies

Compatibility Determinations 
Determining compatibility is a key process by which refuge managers decide what uses will be permitted on national wildlife refuges. An essential element in the process is providing the public an opportunity to provide input for the refuge manager to consider as he or she determines if a use is compatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established.

To learn more about the process of determining compatibility of uses visit Compatibility Determinations.

Related Sites

The following links may assist you in finding more information pertaining to various aspects of the Alaska Region’s Office of Conservation Planning and Policy that are described on our site.