A Way of Life
Alaska Natives have used these resources for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, handicrafts and trade for thousands of years. Other residents living in rural Alaska depend on local harvests as reliable and economic food sources. For many, subsistence is more than just about economics. It is about who they are; it is a way of life.
The park along with Alaska Department of Fish and Game have recently surveyed local area residents to determine the harvest of subsistence resources. The findings include: Subsistence Harvests and Uses of Wild Resources in Chistochina, Alaska, 2009 and Subsistence Harvests and Uses of Wild Resources in Copper Center, Slana/Nabesna Road, Mentasta Lake and Mentasta Pass, Alaska 2012. For the complete reports.
As long as resources and their habitats are maintained in a natural and healthy state, traditional subsistence hunting and fishing are allowed in the park and preserve. Additionally, ANILCA provides that rural residents with knowledge of local conditions should have a role in the management of subsistence resources on public lands.
This section provides an overview of the subsistence program at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve for the subsistence user and other interested persons. You will find information about who is eligible to hunt, trap, fish, and gather on park and preserve lands; the ways in which these lands may be accessed; and how regulations concerning subsistence are made or changed.
Did You Know?
The fishwheel, today a common means of harvesting salmon on Alaska’s Copper River, first appeared in North America in Eastern North Carolina, where it was used to catch shad on the Roanoke and Pee Dee Rivers.