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Alaska Peninsula
National Wildlife Refuge

Mount Chiginagak and its reflection on Mother Goose Lake
Building 4, Fish and Wildlife Service Road
P.O. Box 277
King Salmon, AK   99613
E-mail: akpeninsula@fws.gov
Phone Number: 907-246-4250 or 907-246-3339
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Sunrise at Mount Chiginagak as seen from Mother Goose Lake on the Alaska Peninsula.
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Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge

Sandwiched between Becharof National Wildlife Refuge to the north and Izembek NWR to the south, Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge presents a breathtakingly dramatic landscape made up of active volcanoes, towering mountain peaks, rolling tundra and rugged, wave-battered coastlines. As is the case with most of Alaska's coastal refuges, salmon provide the principal "nutrient engine" for Alaska Peninsula, supporting the species that prey upon them and enriching the rivers and surrounding lands after they spawn and die.

Where there are salmon, there will usually be bears, and when the fish are running, Ugashik Lakes and the streams that surround them attract brown bears in great numbers. (Black bear are not found on Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge.) Other large land mammals include wolverine, the caribou of the approximately 7,000-animal Northern Alaska Peninsula Herd, wolves and moose. The latter are relative newcomers, first observed on the peninsula in the early 1900s, and uncommon until the 1950s. The refuge's coastal and offshore waters are home to sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions and migrating whales.

Alaska Peninsula's numerous wetlands and often rugged shoreline provide habitat for migratory birds, including ducks, geese and shorebirds. The refuge is also home to the westernmost black cottonwood forests in America, which offer both migration stop-over and nesting habitat to neotropical land birds.

Getting There . . .
The refuge office is located approximately 1/8 mile across from the King Salmon Airport. Signs leading to the office complex are readily visible, and assistance can be obtained from the refuge visitor center which is adjacent to the airport terminal. Regularly scheduled commercial flights are available between King Salmon and Anchorage.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge is a land of towering mountains, active volcanoes, broad valleys, fjords, tundra and glacially formed lakes. The Bristol Bay side of the Refuge consists primarily of flat to rolling tundra, lakes and wetlands. From these coastal lowlands, the land rises to steep glaciated mountains, forming the spine of the Refuge, and then plunges to steep cliffs and sandy beaches on the Pacific side. Several of the Refuge's volcanoes have been active in the recent past. Mt. Chiginigak last erupted in 1971 and continues to vent gases and steam. Mt. Veniaminoff, a massive strato-volcano with a base 30 miles in diameter and a summit crater 20 miles in circumference, erupted from 1993 to 1995. Mt. Veniaminoff has the most extensive crater glacier in the country and is the only known glacier on the continent with an active volcanic vent in its center.

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The Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) established the 3.7 million acre Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge on December 2, 1980. Before that, the lands were part of the federal public domain. In 1983, the Fish and Wildlife Service decided to manage 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 shared resources and common issues. The administrative headquarters is located in King Salmon, Alaska. Because of distance and weather barriers, the Pavlof Unit of the Alaska Peninsula Refuge is managed by the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, headquartered in Cold Bay Alaska.

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Management Activities
The Alaska Peninsula and Becharof Refuges encompass vast areas of pristine fish and wildlife habitat. Refuge staff work closely with other federal, state, and private organizations to monitor fish and wildlife populations and habitat. Recent wildlife monitoring work has included studies of habitat quality and its relationship to the abundance of caribou and moose; productivity and abundance of cliff-nesting seabirds; and productivity and survival of migratory songbirds. Recent fishery work has included monitoring popular sport fish populations and salmon migrations into spawning streams. Future plans include the analyses and adoption of new methods to improve population estimates for wolves and moose.

Fish and wildlife are not the only active things that are studied on the refuges. The Alaska Volcano Observatory monitors seismic and volcanic activity at several of the active volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula.

Refuge staff also provide information to visitors, and monitor their use of the refuges. The King Salmon Visitor Center provides information and educational outreach to visitors and local communities. Most visitors from outside the local area reach the refuges with the help of commercial air taxi operators and fishing and hunting guides whose operations are permitted through the refuge office. Refuge staff periodically monitor visitor use at the more popular areas to enforce hunting and fishing regulations and document harvest. Our staff also works with local advisory groups to develop hunting and fishing regulations through both the federal and State of Alaska systems.