Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Alagnak Wild River

The Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) Program provides framework, funding, and publishing support to parks to aid in the synthesis and documentation of natural resource conditions. Condition assessment reports are a tool to describe selected park resources, and record a snapshot of their current condition, identify trends, and identify potential or current threats and stressors. Understanding the condition and trend of natural resources is key for parks and NPS planners to appropriately prioritize and allocate stewardship resources.

Clear river meanders through yellowish brown arctic tundra and sparse boreal forest.
Alagnak Wild River meandering through the arctic landscape.

NPS Photo.

The headwaters of Alagnak Wild River lie within the rugged Aleutian Range of neighboring Katmai National Park and Preserve. Meandering west towards Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea, the Alagnak Wild River traverses the beautiful Alaska Peninsula, providing an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique wilderness, wildlife, and cultural heritage of southwest Alaska.The Alagnak Wild River corridor, located along Katmai’s northern boundary, protects the river’s water quality and scenic landscapes, both dominated by natural processes. Also, the Alagnak Wild River offers visitors outstanding opportunities in a wide range of world–class, wilderness–based recreational activities such as floating, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

The Alagnak Wild River protects a river system necessary for the perpetuation of the Bristol Bay sockeye (red) salmon fishery, the heartbeat of the economy, culture, recreation, and history of southwest Alaska. Alagnak Wild River’s rich archeological record reveals a remarkable history of diverse and traditional users that provide depth to our understanding of cultural development across the Americas.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2015

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2015. National Park Service representatives and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota collaborated to evaluate the park needs and available data. Katmai National Park and Preserve and the adjacent Alagnak Wild River were assessed together. Theis team chose 11 resource topics to assess:

- Invasive and non-native species

- Native fish

- Moose

- Seismic activity

- Bear

- Climate

- Passerines

- Human activity

- Salmon

- Glacial extent

- Water quality

Overall, the conditions in Katmai National Park and Preserve, and Alagnak Wild River were of low concern, or were not assigned condition ratings due to lack of data. Many of the park’s data needs involve the challenge of determining ways to effectively sample and monitor biological phenomena in order to increase statistical confidence and to ensure long-term monitoring techniques are possible. A consistent but opportunistic and flexible approach to population surveys is necessary to gather data and improve analyses.

For other reports and natural resource datasets visit the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Collection 7765 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: December 16, 2022


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