Working With Communities
National park areas in Alaska are spread from Sitka to Kotzebue, and from the Alaska Peninsula to the Canadian border. But the work of NPS professionals extend beyond the traditional park boundaries and benefit many communities not usually associated with national parks.
The Beringian Heritage Program is helping strengthen ties between Northwest Alaska and Russia, areas that share ancient traditions as well flora and fauna. The Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program helps brings technical expertise to communities which request our help in expanding trail systems, or bringing a measure of sustainability to damaged trails. The Service also works with partners from many communities who share our commitment to conservation, preservation and recreation. In one such partnership, the National Park Service helps fund and administer the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Recreation Area, an entity championed by Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula residents and established by Congress to recognize the unique resources and opportunities in the area.
Perhaps the largest number of communities are engaged with the National Park Service in our implementation of subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping in several national park units. Grounded in the 1980 Alaska Lands Act, subsistence authorizations recognized that local, rural residents should be able to continue using vast areas of federal land in Alaska in traditional ways. The NPS manages subsistence in most park and preserve units in Alaska, and participates with local users in the extensive public process used to develop regulations and other management tools.
Other programs within the National Park Service extend other types of technical assistance, help teachers and students, and work with non-profit organizations such as Alaska Geographic to extend the knowledge and benefits of the national parks to a broad audience.