6000 B.C. Sometime around this time the first humans set
foot on the Kenai Peninsula
1200 B.C. Eskimos are living along the Kenai Peninsula's
1000 A.D. About this time the Dena'ina Indians moved onto
the western Kenai Peninsula. 1741 Vitus Bering's expedition marks the first
European contacts with Alaska.
1778 James Cook brought the first sailing ships into the
inlet later named for him.
1848 Petr Doroshin, a Russian mining engineer discovered
gold on Kenai Peninsula
1867 Russia sells Alaska to the United Stated. Alaska
becomes a U. S. territory.
1886 Miners meet near Fox River and organized a mining
district called "The Cleveland Mining District" this was to include
all of the Kenai Peninsula
1897 First sport hunter arrived on Kenai Peninsula. Dall
DeWeese from Canon City, CO.
1902 The Northwest Mining and Development Company on Indian
Creek, a tributary of Kussiloff Lake had a sawmill in operation and a gasoline
launch on the lake.
1904 Forest Ranger William A. Langille made a reconnaissance
of the Kenai Peninsula traversing the peninsula from Seward to Seldovia, and
during this trip he realized the unique value of the land as a wildlife and
1907 Chugach National Forest was created.
1909 Chugach National Forest expanded to include the land
from the Copper River on the east to Cook Inlet on the west, then to Kachemak
Bay on the south, and all the Chugach Mountains to the north.
1914 During low water on Kenai River, while the boulders
were exposed, the licensed guides of the Kenai Peninsula decided to clear out a
channel between the Kenai Lake and Skilak Lake.
1917 An Act placing a bounty of fifty cents on eagles was
approved. 1926 Alaska Glacier Tours Association had its first party of big game
hunters. They hunted in the Tustumena Lake region.
1927 A power boat mastered Kenai River currents using a
six-horse outboard motor. Big Game Guide Andy Simons completed a trip from Cook
Inlet to Kenai Lake in 16 hours.
1932 Areas north of Kenai River and Skilak Lake were closed
to moose hunting, and the bag limit on sheep was reduced from two to one.
1940 The Fish and Wildlife Service was created by combining
the Bureaus of Biological Survey and Fisheries.
1941 Kenai National Moose Range established. This establishment was signed by Franklin D.
Roosevelt in December 16, 1941, just 9 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
1947 Forest fire burned 300,000 acres on the Kenai National
1951 The Sterling Highway connected the Kenai Peninsula to
the rest of Alaska.
1956 The Fish and Wildlife Service is renamed the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, with two bureaus, the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and the
Bureau of Commercial Fisheries. Management of wildlife refuges falls to the
1956 Development of the 8,000-acre Swanson River Oil and Gas
1957 Oil discovered within the Swanson River Field by the
Richfield Oil Corp. On July 19, 1957. The location was near a lone hemlock
1959 Alaska became the 49th State.
1959-1966 Approximately 1500 miles of seismic trails were
made on the Kenai NWR.
1964 Three townships
removed from the Kenai National Moose range to allow for homesteading, and the
administrative boundaries are pulled back from the Cook Inlet except along
1965 Development of the 1,200 acre Birch Hill Oil and Gas
1965 Caribou reintroduced from the Nelchina herd after being
extirpated from the Kenai Peninsula in 1912.
Wolves coincidentally recolonize the peninsula after being extirpated in
1966 National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act creates the
present National Wildlife Refuge system.
1966 Kenai Moose Research Center established cooperatively
with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
1967 Development of
the 5,000-acre Beaver Creek Oil and Gas Field begins.
1969 Forest fire burned 80,000 in the Kenai National Moose
1980 The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act re-designates
the Kenai National Moose Range as the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge including
the establishment of 1.32 million acres as Kenai Wilderness.
Comprehensive Conservation Plan completed.
1988 Silak Wildlife Recreation Area established.
1989 Beginning of spruce bark beetle outbreak that kills
Sitka, Lutz and white spruce on 1 million acres on the Kenai Peninsula and 4
million acres in southcentral Alaska.
1997 The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act
establishes the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and mandates
that refuges "ensure biological integrity, diversity and environmental
2003 Centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System: 100
years since the creation of Pelican Island Refuge by President Theodore
2010 2nd Comprehensive Conservation Plan completed