Wildlife Management in Alaska National Parks

close up of a wolf in Denali National Park, amber colored eyes are striking
Wolves play an important ecological role and are a priority for wildlife management

Natural Ecosystems

Preserving the natural composition, abundance, diversity, and processes of Alaska Parklands is fundamental to the agency mission. Not only does this serve the global conservation community, it provides the opportunity for the public to observe wild lands in an unimpaired state now and in perpetuity. Further, these areas offer unique opportunities to conduct scientific studies on natural systems and can serve as a sentinel for changes impacting our world.

Wildlife Viewing

The opportunity to view wildlife in their natural environment is one of the major attractions drawing visitors to Alaskan parks each year. Bears can be seen in virtually all Alaskan parks but exceptional opportunities exist in Lake Clark and Katmai. Denali offers opportunities to view wolves, moose, caribou, sheep, and bear from either the back country or the easily accessed Wonder Lake road.
The coastal parks of Kenai Fjords and Glacier Bay are home to whales, seals, sea
lions, otters, and sea birds.

Subsistence Harvest

Wildlife can be harvested by local rural residents to meet their subsistence needs on roughly 70% of the 55 million acres comprising Alaska's parklands. Wild fish and game is important to meet the nutritional needs of people in areas where they are reliant on local natural foods. These activities date back to the arrival of hominids on the North American continent, and thus, have important cultural and social significance. These activities are part of the many natural processes that comprise park ecosystems. In addition to subsistence harvest, sport hunting and fishing opportunities exist on some park lands. Be sure to check both the State and Federal regulations prior to engaging in hunting or fishing in Alaskan parks.

Economic Benefits

In addition to their importance as a natural resource, wildlife and fishing opportunities provide tremendous economic benefit to local communities and the state as a whole. Guiding wildlife viewers, hunters, and fisherman and the support industries tied to these activities provide jobs that help sustain local economies.

    Wildlife Highlights

  • Subsistence Regulations

    Wildlife may be harvested by local rural residents to meet their subsistence needs.

  • Subsistence Program

    Subsistence practices are critical to sustaining both the physical and spiritual cultuer of Alaska native peoples.

  • Sport Hunting

    Be sure to check out both the federal and state regulations prior to engaging in hunting or fishing activities in Alaska national parks.

  • Wildlife Viewing: Denali

    Viewing wildlife in any of Alaska's national parks can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Last Updated: September 12, 2013