Birds arriving in Alaska for the breeding season may be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has caused illness and death in waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, and birds of prey and some mammals. Learn more, including steps hunters can take to reduce the risk of infection and how to report observations/concerns.
National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Alaska Peninsula is a globally renowned place for salmon, bears etc. There are several ways to enjoy the refuge.
BACKCOUNTRY SAFETY TIPS
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Learn as much as possible about the area you are planning to visit. This will determine the appropriate food, clothing, equipment and transportation needed for your trip. Always leave your itinerary with family/friends and notify them when you return. Refuge lands are remote and weather and river flows can change quickly. Help could be hours or days away should something go wrong.
- Dress in layers and bring small reliable camp stoves and wind-proof tents. Clothing and equipment should be able to withstand rigorous use in prolonged wet and windy conditions. Prepare for bad weather and pack extra food and clothing in case your transportation home is delayed.
- Carry emergency water, food, clothing, map, compass, first aid kit and signaling devices
- Adequate rain gear and warm clothing are essential. Hypothermia is always a possibility with wet conditions and cool temperatures.
- Cold water kills! Use extreme caution and common sense when near rivers, lakes and coastal areas. The water is often murky and swift, and dangerous conditions may not be apparent. Watch out for quicksand.
- Boil, filter or treat all water before drinking. Giardiasis, a water-borne parasite, is common here and elsewhere in Alaska.
- Biting insects are common. Come prepared with repellent, head nets and a screened tent. Medication should be carried if you are sensitive to bug bites.
Be Wildlife Safe
Take precautions to avoid unwanted encounters with bears and moose, particularly when they have offspring.
- Avoid using well-worn bear and other wildlife trails.
- Make lots of noise when hiking, especially on windy days, in dense vegetation and along noisy streams.
- Keep campsites very clean and cook/store all food away from camp.
- Keep tents, sleeping bags and all personal gear free of food odors. Never bring food in your tent.
- It’s important to store food so that it is not obtainable for bears and other animals. “Food” includes garbage, canned items and toiletries.
- You are strongly encouraged to use bear-resistant food storage containers approved by the interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
- Do not bury garbage or debris because the enticing odors teach bears to associate food with humans.
Read more: Essentials for Travelling in Alaska's Bear Country
Learn the do's and don'ts of river crossing here
LEAVE NO TRACE
By using responsible backcountry techniques there should be little or no sign of your visit when you are ready to leave.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Travel in smaller groups and visit less popular areas to minimize contact with others and to enhance wildlife viewing opportunities. Confine your travel and camping areas to surfaces that are resistant to impact. In popular or high-use areas, concentrate your use. This will help preserve the natural condition of the surroundings. In remote and low-use areas, spread out your use. Choose a camping site that is naturally durable, such as sand or gravel.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Trash has no place in the backcountry. Pack out all of your garbage including cigarette butts, ammunition casings and all non-burnable trash. Properly dispose of what you can’t pack out. Avoid contaminating water sources by camping, washing and using the toilet at least 200 feet from all water bodies. Bury human waste at least six inches deep and well away from camp. Use toilet paper sparingly and burn it or pack it out.
Minimize the Use and Impact of Fires
Use lightweight camp stoves when possible. If a fire is needed, keep it small, use a fire pan, and burn only dead and downed wood. Put out campfires completely and pack out all unburned trash.
Leave What You Find
People come to wildlands to enjoy them in their natural state. Leave plants, rocks and archaeological/cultural evidence as you find them. Archaeological artifacts are protected by law; do not disturb or remove them.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Since 1983, we've managed the Ugashik and Chignik units of the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, The Becharof Refuge, and the Seal Cape area of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge as a complex because they share resources and common issues. The administrative headquarters is located in King Salmon. The King Salmon Visitor Center provides information and educational services highlighting the natural and cultural resources and recreation opportunities on the Alaska Peninsula. This visitor center is operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the National Park Service, Bristol Bay Borough, and Lake and Peninsula Borough. Alaska Geographic supplies the bookstore, which raises funds for outreach and education.
Rules and Policies
To conserve the wildlife and wild experience for humans, commercial recreation is managed through a permit system. Also, big game hunting guides must compete for special use permits, ensuring that visitors have the highest quality experience possible.