Subsistence Eligibility


National park and preserve lands added to the original Mt. McKinley National Park by ANILCA are open to subsistence hunting, trapping and fishing. Subsistence uses are not permitted in the former Mt. McKinley National Park area.

To be eligible for subsistence use in the ANILCA additions to Denali National Park you must be a local rural resident living in one of Denali’s designated subsistence resident zones communities, or have a special subsistence use permit issued by the Superintendent. The communities of Cantwell, Lake Minchumina, Nikolai and Telida are recognized as subsistence resident zones for Denali National Park.

Individuals residing outside of Denali's resident zone communities who have a personal or family history of using the park additions for subsistence purposes at the time ANILCA was passed may obtain a special subsistence use permit (36 CFR 13.44) by calling or writing the Superintendent. Application and documentation of your traditional subsistence use, without the use of aircraft for access, may be completed in-person or over the phone with park staff. Contact Denali’s Subsistence Manager, or the Superintendent’s office for further details.

Eligible subsistence users for Denali National Park and Preserve must also comply with the Federal Subsistence Regulations regarding harvest of fish and wildlife. These subsistence regulations guide hunting, trapping and fishing seasons of take, harvest limits, methods and means of harvest, and identify which communities and areas have customary and traditional use of wildlife species on Park and Preserve Lands or fish stocks for subsistence purposes.

Customary and Traditional (C&T) Use Determinations for Use of Fish and Wildlife Species on Park and Preserve Lands

Customary and traditional use determinations, made by the Federal Subsistence Board, identify which wildlife species or fish stocks have been customarily and traditionally taken for subsistence purposes, and which communities or areas are eligible to harvest them and where. For Preserve lands these determinations make a distinction between sport hunters and trappers and those harvesting for subsistence. Subsistence uses of resources have a priority over other users who harvest fish and wildlife on Federal public lands.

When there is not enough of a resource for everyone, only subsistence users most dependent on wild foods may hunt and trap. In this case, criteria identified in Section 804 of ANILCA are used to differentiate among qualified subsistence users. Those three criteria are:

  1. customary and direct dependence upon the populations as the mainstay of livelihood
  2. local residency
  3. the availability of alternative resources.

Before hunting or trapping in the park or preserve, check in the Federal Subsistence Regulations to see if your community or area has a “positive” C&T determination for the area where you intend to hunt. C&T determinations are listed, along with seasons and harvest limits, in the Federal Subsistence Management Regulations booklet by Wildlife Management Unit.

Game Management Units in Denali include portions of: 13( E) , 16( A) , 16( B) , 19( C) , 19( D) and 20( C)

map of denali area and state game management units around the park
A map of state game management units (GMUs) in and around Denali National Park and Preserve

Last updated: January 21, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

Contact Us