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Refuge History

1971 Bear

Pre-establishment - Bear hunters concerned with the health and survival of the brown bear population petitioned for the protection of the world-famous mammals.

1941 Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established August 19, 1941 “for the purpose of protecting the natural feeding and breeding range of the brown bears and other wildlife on Uganik and Kodiak Islands, Alaska.” About 1.987 million acres were included within the refuge boundary. A one mile coastal strip of refuge remained open to public land laws.

1958 A public land order withdrew a one-mile coastal strip from public land laws. At the same time two peninsulas were withdrawn from the northern most portion of the refuge reducing total acreage to approximately 1.82 million. 

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) transferred 310,000 acres of refuge land to Native ownership. Uses were still required to be compatible with refuge purposes per section 22(g) of ANCSA.

 The Mount Glottof Research Natural Area was designated within the refuge to protect alpine feeding habitat for brown bears. Located in the Uganik alpine, this 88,000 acre area provides for future research on this unique brown bear summer feeding habitat. 

The Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) added 50,000 acres of land on Afognak and Ban Islands to the refuge. 

 Nearly 275,000 acres of valuable wildlife habitat were reacquired through purchase or donation of: fee title, conservation easement, and limited development easements. Funding sources included: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill civil and criminal settlement funds; Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and; other private sources. 

Current acreage within the refuge boundary totals approximately 1.9 million acres. As funding becomes available, acquisition of valuable habitat from willing sellers continues as guided by the refuge’s Land Protection Plan. 
Last Updated: Apr 08, 2012
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