Applications are being accepted for summer seasonal positions.
The application period is open for summer seasonal positions. Please click on the "Employment" link for more information. More »
Nabesna Area ORV Regulations Proposed by Wrangell-St. Elias
A regulation package for the management of off-road vehicle (ORV) use in the Nabesna District of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve was published in the Federal register on Jan. 15. It is available for public review and comment for 60 days. More »
HEADQUARTER’S VISITOR CENTER TO REOPEN FOR THE SUMMER
The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center in Copper Center will re-open on April 1, 2014. More »
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Seeks Candidates for Subsistence Resource Commission
Nominations for candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Subsistence Resource Commission are being accepted through March 31, 2014. More »
Hearings Set for Hunting and Domestic Goat Restrictions
The National Park Service is holding public hearings in March on temporary restrictions for certain sport hunting practices in several national preserves in Alaska. WRST will also take comments on a proposal to prohibit domestic goats. More »
The natural role of wildland fire at Wrangell-St. Elias varies considerably across the park/preserve's geographical zones. Higher elevations lack substantial fuels, and in the coastal areas south of the Bagley Ice Field fire is nearly precluded by high humidity and precipitation. In the boreal communities of the Copper River Basin, however, as elsewhere in the Alaskan interior, fire has been a key component for thousands of years, with periodic fires having served throughout the centuries to select plants and animals that are adapted to fire-caused change. Both black and white spruce depend on intense ground fire to clear organic layers and to thereby expose fertile seedbed. Black spruce, moreover, is at least partially dependent upon stand-replacement fire, in that its seeds become ready for germination at the peak of the Alaskan interior fire season and are released when its semi-serotinous cones are opened by canopy fire. Even more fundamentally, fire plays a key role in the regulation of the permafrost tables. Without periodic fire, organic matter accumulates, the permafrost table rises, and ecosystem productivity declines. Vegetation communities become less diverse and wildlife habitat decreases. Fire rejuvenates and maintains these systems. It removes some of the insulating organic matter and elicits a warming of the soil. Nutrients are added both as a result of combustion and through increased decomposition rates.
Intervals between occurrences of wildland fire are longer in the Copper River Basin than in other portions of the Alaskan interior, due largely to the influence of maritime weather patterns upon this transitional region. Nonetheless, periodic fire of considerable size and intensity is the norm in this area, as evidenced by forest mosaic patterns and by local history. Since lightning is less frequent and often accompanied by rain, humans ignite the majority of fires by for instance unattended, escaped debris burns and campfires and discarding lit cigarettes. Many of these fires ignited along road corridors, thus had the potential to threaten human life and property. NPS Alaska Fire Management encourages everyone to cautious with fire and be Firewise. Firewise concepts teach property owners and communities about pre-fire preparedness; how to substantially reduce their risk from wildfires. For more information about Firewise, please visit www.firewise.org
Did You Know?
Arctic Ground Squirrels have the most unusual hibernation among mammals. During winter hibernation their body temperature plummets to negative 3 degrees Celsius and then every two to three weeks they shiver to warm themselves back up to normal mammalian temperature (37 degrees Celsius).