Laws & Policies
Photo courtesy of Drew Groves
National Parks and Preserves are special areas set aside for use and enjoyment by the public in a fashion that will leave them unimpaired for future generations. A variety of rules and regulations help protect park resources and provide visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience. Together the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Superintendent's Compendium provide a complete listing of park rules and regulations designed to care for this national treasure.
Do I need to get a permit to do that? How do I need to store my food? Are there any places that are closed or areas that I can't go to? How am I supposed to dispose of fish remains once I've cleaned them? These answers and more can be found in the Superintendent's Compendium. Reviewed annually, this document provides a list of designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under the discretionary authority of the superintendent. Learn more about Superintendent's Compendiums in Alaska or review Lake Clark's current compendium by clicking the links below.
Sport Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping in the National Preserve
Sport fishing is allowed throughout the park and preserve while sport hunting and trapping are confined to the national preserve. The National Park Service and the State of Alaska cooperatively manage the wildlife resources in Lake Clark, therefore you must posses a valid Alaska state hunting and/or fishing license and you must comply with Alaska state laws and regulations.
Common Violations to Avoid
National Parks Service areas do not allow activities that would destroy part of the park. If you leave the park the way it was before you arrived, you're on the right track to being a good steward of your national park. Common violations that you should avoid include:Destroying vegetation: cutting down trees for structures or firewood and removing tundra for tent pads. Firewood must be dead and already down. Standing snags/dead trees provide critical wildlife habitat, especially for birds and insects, and should not be removed.
Taking objects: removing historic artifacts, fossils, antlers/horns, skulls, plants, rocks, etc.
Failing to deal with human waste properly: insufficient distance from water/campsite, not burying it.
Littering/trash: not packing it out, leaving it in campfire rings.
Improper food storage: not following the park's food storage requirements in designated areas of the park. Food storage requirements are listed in the Superintendent's Compendium.
Hunting violations: hunting within the national park boundaries, failing to salvage the meat, taking undersized game, taking wolves or coyotes during the temporarily restricted period of May 1 through August 9.
Harassing or disturbing wildlife.
Entering the meadow at Chinitna Bay: this is currently the only closure in Lake Clark. For your own safety, please do not enter this area of high bear use. A map detail the area closure is available in the Superintendent's Compendium. All other areas in the park and preserve may be traveled and camped in.
Picnicking or eating in the Chinitna Bay bear viewing area: picnicking in Chinitna Bay from Glacier Spit to the NPS Ranger Cabin (2 miles east) is prohibited above the beach from June 1 - August 30. This restriction is intended to minimize the risk of negative human/bear interactions and prevent bears from associating food with the bear viewing area. For your own safety, and the safety of other bear viewers, please keep your food packed out of sight and out of the reach of bears at all times while in this area.
Discharging or carrying a firearm where it is not allowed: learn about applicable federal and Alaska state laws regarding the possession of firearms in National Parks on our Firearms Information page.
Operating drones and other unmanned aircraft: launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. Further details are available in Superintendent's Compendium.