The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources.  Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner.  Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed. 



Subsistence is a way of life for many rural Alaskans, and subsistence is one of the mandates for the Innoko Refuge. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act states that one of the purposes for Innoko Refuge is “to provide . . . the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents”. Local people have used the area that is now Innoko Refuge for thousands of years for the harvest of animals for food and clothing. Innoko Refuge staff cooperate with the local users and the Office of Subsistence Management to honor this relationship. Most of the studies and surveys conducted on the Innoko refuge are aimed at keeping healthy populations of fish and wildlife to meet the “wildlife first” priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to allow future generations the opportunity for a subsistence lifestyle.

Innoko Refuge will continue to be an active participant in advocating and educating hunters in the use of non-toxic (steel) shot for use when hunting waterfowl. Tons of spent lead pellets scattered across natural wetlands have caused the death, due to lead poisoning, of millions of ducks and geese. Non-toxic shot clinics have been held in local villages to teach hunters how to effectively shoot steel shot, and to explain why non-toxic shot will help bolster healthy waterfowl populations.

Another item of interest to the Innoko Refuge, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and future waterfowl hunters is the reporting of bird bands to the Bird Banding aboratory. About one thousand geese have been banded on the Innoko Refuge each year for the past several years, other refuges have banded thousands more. If you hunt or find a banded bird, please let the Banding Laboratory know the band number, general location harvested, and date harvested so the information can be entered into the scientific data base. This information is used to determine harvest regulations for Canada, the United States and Mexico. You can receive a certificate about the bird if you report the band number with your name and address or you can just turn in the band number without your name. You may also call toll free at 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263) to report a band number.

Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, with the assistance of the Office of Subsistence Management, completed the Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, Holy Cross (GASH) Village Project which consisted of hosting meetings with the people from each village (closest villages which utilize the Innoko Refuge), the Innoko Refuge, Office of Subsistence Management, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. These public meetings gave people the opportunity to voice their concerns about how the Refuge and State manages subsistence resources.

Out of this project the Alaska Department of Game and Fish (with the support of other federal agencies in the area) developed the Unit 21E Moose Management Working Group. This group is working on solutions for the moose populations in Unit 21E. An advisory committee from the Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, Holy Cross Area was created to provide input from the villages to this working group.

The Innoko Refuge staff encourages local subsistence users to provide information on wildlife resource concerns on the Innoko Refuge lands. Our office in Galena can be contacted toll-free at 800-656-1231.