Rules and Regulations


General Refuge Rules

The following activities are illegal in National Wildlife Refuges:
  • Abandoning or caching property (this also prohibits geocaches)
  • Introducing non-native animals or plants
  • Collecting fossils, antlers, bones, plants, or artifacts
  • Target-practicing or siting in rifles
  • Conducting a commercial activity without a Special Use Permit
View the full list of Refuge rules in the Federal Register or contact a refuge staff member to ask about a specific activity’s legality.

Recreational Use

Hunting, fishing, and trapping on the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge fall into two categories - recreational and subsistence. If you are traveling to the refuge to participate in these activities, you are most likely a recreational user and should refer to Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations . The refuge falls within game management unit 25D.

It’s important to note that about 2.5 million acres within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge is privately owned and private landowners dictate what activities are permitted in those areas. If you’re planning a trip, make sure the area you would like to utilize is publicly owned or you have permission from the landowner to conduct your activities.

Subsistence Use

Subsistence is defined by the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act of 1980 as “the customary and traditional uses by rural Alaska resident of wild, renewable resources for direct personal or family consumption as food, shelter, fuel, clothing, tools or transportation; for the making and selling of handicraft articles out of nonedible by-products of fish and wildlife resources taken for personal or family consumption, for barter, or sharing for personal or family consumption, and for customary trade.” Subsistence users must be registered and should abide by federal subsistence regulations published by the Office of Subsistence Management.

Commercial and Special Uses

If you would like to conduct a commercial activity such as guiding, film-making, or providing commercial transportation, or if you propose to conduct scientific or geological research or other non-recreational activities, a Special Use Permit is required.