Environmental Factors

Many factors influence the natural environment of Sitka National Historical Park, contributing to the interdependencies between organisms and natural objects. The humid maritime climate influences much of the plant life, characterized by relatively heavy precipitation with a small temperature range between seasons. Glaciation has defined the geologic history and left a legacy that defines today's topography. Soils exhibit the relative age of each landform within the park's varied landscape. The Indian River's hydrologic activity is perhaps the most significant environmental factors within the park: an ecosystem for salmon and all that rely on the aquatic environment. Ultimately, climate change is a human-based factor that alters Sitka National Historical Park's resources, in time, could detract from it ecological integrity.
Two female park interns assist in data collection in a stream.
Interns assist with natural resource monitoring

NPS Photo

Climate Change

Although the natural and cultural resources of Sitka National Historical Park are increasingly at risk due to climate change, we are also in a unique position to provide baseline data and monitor long term changes through ongoing research efforts.

Learn more about climate change in Sitka National Historical Park.
Fireweed grows on the ocean shore, with mountains and blue sky in the background.
Fireweed soaks up the sun on a rare cloudless day at the park

NPS Photo / Andrea Willingham

Climate and weather

When many people think of Alaska, they think of arctic winters and a frigid climate -- but think again, if you're coming to Sitka! Here, due to the warm ocean currents that pass by Baranof Island, winters are mild and summers are wet, keeping the rainforest happy with a constant supply of rain, fog, and mist.

Read more about the local climate and weather conditions.

A clear, fast moving forest stream.
The pristine waters of Indian River flow through Sitka National Historical Park

NPS Photo / Andrea Willingham

Hydrologic Activity

Indian River is one of the primary natural resources in the park. The river continuously shapes the interconnections of the land, plants, and animals that thrive in the park.

Learn about the park's dynamic hydrologic activity.

Last updated: February 18, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

103 Monastery St.
Sitka, AK 99835


(907) 747-0110

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