Natural Features & Ecosystems
Why was the Alagnak designated as a "Wild River"? The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act declared it a policy of the United States that "selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations." By designating the Alagnak River, Congress mandated that the Alagnak Wild River be administered in such a manner as to protect and enhance the values which caused it to be included in said system without, insofar as is consistent therewith, limiting other uses that do not substantially interfere with public use and enjoyment of these values.
The Bureau of Outdoor Recreation's "Wild and Scenic River Analysis" (June 1, 1973) for the Alagnak cites the river's outstandingly remarkable scenic, fish and wildlife, and recreation attributes as the primary reasons the river qualified for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Did You Know?
In the local language, the word Alagnak means "making mistakes." According to a life-long area resident, "the channel is always changing, causing mistakes and getting lost." Every year the river changes and branches, which is why it is known locally as "Branch River."