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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Beringia?
Beringia consists of the lands and maritime areas bounded by the Lena River in Russia on the west, the McKenzie River in Canada's British Columbia on the east, 72-degree latitude in the Chukchi Sea on the north, and the tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula on the south.

What is the Bering land bridge?
The Bering land bridge was a 1,000-mile-wide isthmus that connected Asia and North America 21,000 to 10,000 years ago.

How did first Americans come across the Bering Strait?
One of the theories of how people came to North America is that they crossed the Bering Strait over the land bridge that connected the two continents. They led a nomadic lifestyle and moved around with the migration of the animals.

What is the Shared Beringian Heritage Program?
Established in 1991, the Shared Beringian Heritage Program is a U. S. National Park Service international program that recognizes and celebrates the natural resources and cultural heritage shared by Russia and the United States on both sides of the Bering Strait and works to improve local, national, and international understanding of these resources and sustain the cultural vitality of Native peoples in the region.

What is a transboundary protected area?
A transboundary protected area is an area of land and/or sea that straddles a border between two or more countries and is set aside for the bilateral protection and management of biodiversity, natural and cultural resources by all the countries involved. The jurisdiction over the land and sea remains within the country of its location.

If a transboundary protected area is established between the United States and Russia, will there be more lands added to the existing National Park Service units?
No new lands would be added to the existing National Park Service units that have already been designated by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Will the establishment of a transboundary protected area affect my subsistence rights or practices?
The establishment of a transboundary protected area in the Bering Strait region will not limit or prohibit traditional subsistence rights or practices. In fact, it will guarantee better protection of the subsistence lifestyle through the comprehensive protection of resources.

Last Updated: October 14, 2010