The 1.98 million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is part of a network of lands and waters within the National Wildlife Refuge System that is dedicated to conservation, management, and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.  

To maintain the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of Kenai Refuge, and the National Wildlife Refuge System as a whole; future conditions must be anticipated so that adverse impacts are avoided and positive actions taken to conserve and protect refuge resources. Effective management also depends on acknowledging resource relationships and acknowledging that refuges are parts of larger ecosystems.  Applying the principles of Strategic Habitat Conservation, the Kenai Refuge works together with partners—including other refuges, Federal and State agencies, tribal and other governments, Native organizations and entities, and nongovernmental organizations and groups—to protect, conserve, enhance, or restore all native fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. 

Conservation on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is guided by its purposes articulated in the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.  The two primary purposes are to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity, including but not limited to moose, bears, mountain goats, Dall sheep, wolves and other furbearers, salmonids and other fish, waterfowl and other migratory and nonmigratory birds; and to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats.  ANILCA clearly defined fish and wildlife to mean “any member of the animal kingdom including without limitation any mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod or other invertebrate”.   Also, the two-thirds of Kenai Refuge that is Congressionally-designated wilderness must be conserved in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964.  The 2010 Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Kenai Refuge provides details on conservation and management goals and objectives over a 15-year planning horizon.