Denali National Park and Preserve is committed to being a leader in sustainable practices. We strive to make environmentally-responsible park operation and management decisions, directly supporting our mission to protect the park’s significant, intact ecosystems and maintain them for visitors today to experience, as well as future generations. Environmental sustainability is an important piece of preserving Denali's wild lands.
Projects and Initiatives
Don't Feed the Landfills Initiative
Since 2015, Denali has been a leading national park in the Don’t Feed the Landfills Initiative, a collaborative effort to decrease the amount of park waste created and sent to the landfill. By encouraging employees, visitors, and local businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the park decreased its landfill dumps by 30% in the first three years.
Sled Dog Poop Composting
Denali has the only working sled dog team in the national park system and is also the only national park that specifically composts dog poop! Each dog produces about 0.75 pounds of poop each day, which can add up to about 8,760 pounds per year. During the summer, the poop is mixed with sawdust to create a 30:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio and left to sit in the covered composting bins, with rangers stirring it every 1-2 weeks. Staff continues to collect and pile the poop through the winter but with freezing conditions (try stirring a frozen pile of poop!) composting takes much longer, about 1-2 years. In summer, the whole process generally takes about 4-8 weeks and the nutrient rich soil is used to fill flowerpots that decorate the sled dog kennels and shared with the local community. In 2021, the kennels produced 6,650 pounds of compost.
Denali's Green Buildings
Denali uses the LEED rating system to guide the design and construction of new facilities. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was created by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable building design and construction.
Research and EducationPark scientists are researching and documenting the effects of climate change on Denali’s natural and cultural resources and rangers strive to include these themes and information in programs for visitors.
Other Sustainable Practices and Infrastructure
Last updated: August 18, 2021