National Wildlife Refuge System

Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) - Simeonof Wilderness


About Simeonof Wilderness


Simeonof Wilderness Area
Simeonof Wilderness

The Simeonof Area was established in 1958 for the preservation of sea otters and other wildlife and in 1976 was established as Wilderness and included in the Alaska Maritime NWR under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It is located within the Shumagin Islands south of the Alaska Peninsula and includes Simeonof Island and the Murie Islets. It is approximately 58 miles from the mainland as shown in green in the map to the right. The island of Simeonof is approximately six miles long and nearly as wide. It is almost divided in two, but remains connected by a sand spit at the head of Simeonof Harbor.

Simeonof Wilderness is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and provides sanctuary and nesting areas to colonies of birds. More than fifty-five species of birds have been identified on Simeonof Island including the bald eagle, oystercatchers, Arctic terns, mew gulls, willow ptarmigan and several colonies of glaucous-winged gulls which nest on the Murie Islets. Other species that use the wilderness include sea otters, hair seals, walruses, Arctic foxes, ground squirrels, and at least 17 species of whales have been identified.


Wilderness Area and Class I Designation

  • In 1976, Congress designated Simeonof as a wilderness area, declaring that the area should remain undeveloped and "unimpaired" for future generations. It now has a total of 25,855 acres.
  • In 1977, Congress acknowledged the uniqueness of Simeonof Wilderness by designating it as a Class I air quality area. As a wilderness area it is afforded special protection under the Clean Air Act.
  • Congress gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), as the Federal Land Manager of Simeonof Wilderness, the responsibility to protect the air quality and air quality related values (AQRVs) of the area from man-made air pollution. Despite this protection, many sources of man-made air pollution are potential threats to Simeonof including oil and gas development in Alaska and long-range transport of air pollutants from other sources.
  • The FWS is working cooperatively with the State of Alaska to reduce air pollutant emissions and protect the air quality and AQRVs of Simeonof.
  • If Simeonof is not protected, unique wildlife and scenic values could be threatened or lost. The FWS hopes to preserve and protect this special area of wilderness for future generations.


Learn more about air quality at Simeonof


Little is known about the effects of air pollution on air quality and AQRVs in Simeonof Wilderness. Within this site are the resources to discover why air pollution poses a threat Simeonof Wilderness and what the FWS is doing to prevent the deterioration of air quality in this pristine area.

  • Learn the basics of air quality - Air Quality
  • Understand what are the air quality related values - AQRV
  • Learn about how air quality can affect natural and scenic resources - Impacts
  • Find real time monitoring data and studies being performed at the wilderness area - Studies & Monitoring



Addition Information:
Regional Air Quality Information (as provided by NPS)
Alaska Maritime NWR Website
Simeonof WA 300km Radius Map (PDF 362KB)

Last updated: November 13, 2012