Park Planning

Planning for Our Parks

The National Park Service (NPS) ensures that the decisions it makes are based within the NPS mission and will be carried out as effectively and efficiently as possible. The National Park Service prepares a variety of planning and environmental documents to help guide management of park resources. Planning provides methods and tools for resolving issues in ways that minimize conflicts and promotes mutually beneficial solutions - solutions that articulate how public enjoyment of the parks can be part of a strategy for ensuring that resources are protected unimpaired for future generations.

Wrangell-St Elias Planning Portfolio

Park managers are guided by a variety of plans and studies, covering many topics. The totality of a park’s plans is referred to as the Portfolio of Management Plans (portfolio). The portfolio is a dynamic compilation of planning guidance in which certain planning elements are removed and updated, or new elements added as needed. For Alaska, the portfolio consists of basic descriptions of a park’s purpose, such as the Foundation Statement, NPS Alaska Regional Management Guidelines, Land Protection Plans, and Park Atlas; comprehensive plans, such as a General Management Plan and Master Plan; implementation plans, such as a site management plan, transportation plan and fire management plan; and strategic program plans, such as a long-range interpretive plan. The above lists are examples of the types of planning elements that could be found in a portfolio. Each park’s portfolio of management plans will be composed of a unique set of plans designed specifically to help manage that particular unit.


NEPA is the acronym for the National Environmental Policy Act. This act, passed in 1969, laid the foundation for environmental protection in the United States by setting policy goals for the federal government. Two major requirements of the act are that agencies analyze the environmental impacts of federal actions and engage the public in the decision-making process.

The first step in the park planning process involves defining the proposed action. For most projects, the next step in the planning process is to determine the appropriate pathway for NEPA documentation based on the proposed action’s level of impact to the environment. If the proposed action will not have significant impacts to the environment, the park utilizes a categorical exclusion. If it is unclear whether or not the proposed action will have significant environmental impacts, the park prepares an environmental assessment (EA). If the proposed action will have significant environmental impacts, the park prepares an environmental impact statement (EIS).

Documents Open for Public Review

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is conducting a series of community listening sessions. The goal is to broaden understanding of the values, issues, and concerns related to the park. These listening sessions will gather further information from the public to inform appropriate future planning, if any, for frontcountry, backcountry and wilderness. The listening sessions will also provide an avenue for the public to submit comments to park management.

Other Plans and Projects

An archive of completed projects as well as projects without documents open for comment can be found at the Wrangell-St. Elias Planning, Environment & Public Comment Website. Even if the formal public review period for a planning document is closed, you can still offer your thoughts to us. We welcome your comments at any stage of the planning process e-mail us at


Park Planning Documents

Superintendent's Compendium

FEIS Wilderness Area Designated Trails Map
January 2014 (pdf format 350 KB)

Kennecott Operations Plan
July 2014 (pdf format 884 KB)

Kennecott Interpretive Plan
September 2011 (pdf format 8.9 MB)

Foundation Statement
July 2011 (pdf format 1.9 MB)

NHL Boundary Map
June 2011 (pdf format 174 KB)

Management Zones
June 2011 (pdf format 441 KB)

Mill Site Land Status
June 2011 (pdf format 1.1 MB)

Proposed Water Systems
June 2011 (pdf format 575 KB)

Management Plan for the Chisana Caribou Herd: 2010-2015
March 2012 (pdf format 2.2 MB)

Parkwide listing of all locations in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park/Preserve (WRST) region.
October 2008 (pdf format 318 KB)

Long Range Interpretive Plan
September 2005 (pdf format 1 MB)

General Management Plan
1986 (pdf format 41.5 MB)


Please contact the park for more information about any of these documents.

Documents Open for Public Review

    Other Plans and Projects

    An archive of completed projects as well as projects without documents open for comment may be found on the PEPC website.


    Last updated: January 16, 2020

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
    PO Box 439
    Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

    Copper Center, AK 99573


    (907) 822-5234

    Contact Us