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

There are currently no projects with documents open for public review for Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve.

Other Plans and Projects

A list of park projects without documents open for review can be found at

Even if the formal public review period for a planning document is closed, you can still offer your thoughts to us. We welcome your voice at any stage of the planning process.


Park Planning Documents

FEIS Wilderness Area Designated Trails Map
January 2014
pdf format, 288 KB

Kennecott Operations Plan - March 2013
A. Superintendent's Letter (pdf format, 75 KB)
B. Table of Contents (pdf format, 92 KB)
C. Chapter 1 - Purpose and Need (pdf format, 1.8 MB)
D. Chapter 2 - Alternatives (pdf format, 3.5 MB)
E. Chapter 3 - Affected Environment (pdf format, 1.1 MB)
F. Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences (pdf format, 520 KB)
G. Appendix A - Impairment Determination (pdf format, 173 KB)
H. Appendix B - ANILCA Section 810(a) (pdf format, 125 KB)
I. Appendix C - Kennecott Covenants (pdf format, 96 KB)
J. Appendix D - Nationwide Programmatic Agreement (pdf format, 5.2 MB)
K. Appendix E - Programmatic Agreement with SHPO (pdf format, 1.5 MB)

Map of Soda Lake Re-route
December 2012
pdf format, 815 KB

Record of Decision for Nabesna ORV EIS
January 2012
pdf format, 893 KB

Kennecott Interpretive Plan FINAL
October 2011
pdf format, 7 MB

August 2011
pdf format, 17 MB

Foundation Statement
July 2011
pdf format, 5.4 MB

Proposed Action Package for the Kennecott Operations Plan
June 2011
pdf format, 496 KB

NHL Boundary Map
June 2011
pdf format, 392 KB

Management Zones
June 2011
pdf format, 210 KB

Mill Site Land Status
June 2011
pdf format, 563 KB

Proposed Water Systems
June 2011
pdf format, 85 KB

Nabesna Mine Newsletter Update
April 2011
pdf format, 155 KB

Draft Management Plan for the Chisana Caribou Herd: 2010-2015
March 2010
pdf format, 2.9 MB

Horsfeld Concession Camp Move EA
March 2010
pdf format, 3.5 MB

Nabesna Mine Newsletter
February 2010
pdf format, 112 KB

Parkwide listing of all locations in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park/Preserve (WRST) region.
October 2008
pdf format, 196 KB

Access to Inholdings
Environmental Assessment
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

February 2008
pdf format, 1.2 MB

Twin Lakes Campground Improvements FONSI
November 2005
pdf format, 6.3 MB

Long Range Interpretive Plan
September 2005
pdf format, 697 KB

Twin Lakes Campground Improvements EA
March 2005
pdf format, 1.9 MB

Wrangell St.Elias General Management Plan (1986)
pdf format, 38 MB


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

Last updated: January 16, 2018

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

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