Western Arctic National Parklands
In 1980, as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the U.S. Congress established Bering land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Noatak National Preserve, and Kobuk Valley National Park. The four areas contain unaltered landscapes, vast populations of animals and plants in intact ecosystems, and archeological sites dating back to the first habitation of North America.
As with other NPS-managed lands, Congress set aside the areas for their preservation and enjoyment short of the point of impairment. ANILCA permits some uses that would not be permitted in most other NPS areas, particularly sport hunting in the two preserves and subsistence uses by local residents in all four areas.
The four units are distinct in character but united in their interrelated resources and values. Resources and values include the natural, geological, historical, archeological, recreational, educational, cultural, scenic, and scientific. Today, they are managed by the National Park Service collectively as Westem Arctic National Parklands. They provide residents with the opportunity to maintain a subsistence way of life as an integral part of a dynamic ecosystem.. They provide all people with the chance to enjoy a variety of activities --boating, sport fishing, hiking, winter travel --in true wilderness.
We, the staff of Western Arctic, are committed to cooperative stewardship for the conservation and understanding of Northwest Alaska's natural and cultural resources. We work cooperatively with the Inupiat people, local communities and governments, landowners, and other land management agencies to ensure the perpetuation of resources both within and around the parks. We provide excellent public service and hope to inspire others to join us as partners in our mission.
Did You Know?
The Chukchi Sea is ice-covered from November until May. Ice formation begins in October, with the ice edge from the permanent polar ice pack extending progressively southward until late March. The northward retreat of the ice edge begins in April and continues until late September.