News Releases

Subsistence Resource Commission Meeting
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Subsistence Resource Commission will meet at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Visitor Center in Copper Center (Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway) on Thursday, October 26 and Firday, October 27, 2017, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, to consider a range of issues related to subsistence hunting and fishing in the park. Commission business will include an opportunity to comment on a proposal to change federal subsistence wildlife regulations, and a discussion of in-season management of the federal subsistence fishery in the Chitina Subdistrict. The meeting is open to the public, and public testimony opportunities are provided. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. Written comments may also be submitted through the park subsistence coordinator by Tuesday, October 24, 2017, for presentation at the meeting. News Release

Bear Damaged Nugget Creek Cabin Repaired by Park Trail Crew.

The Nugget Creek Cabin, which was damaged by a bear last month, has been repaired and is once again available for public use. Last week, a National Park Service trail crew based at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve replaced several damaged logs, installed a new window and placed a steel grate over the window to prevent future entry by bears, according to park Superintendent Ben Bobowski. The cabin and the surrounding area was closed for approximately 30 days. Visitors with previous reservations for the public use cabin have been contacted and their reservations restored. For information on the cabin reservation system please contact the NPS Visitor Center in Copper Center at 907-822-7250 or the park website at
News Release

NPS Search Crew Finds Body of Missing Person

On Wednesday, August 30th, search and rescue personnel located a body in the Nizina River that investigators believe to be 34 year-old Nick Larsen, from Oregon. The cause of death is pending determination by the State Medical Examiner Office. National Park Service personnel and SAR Team members were searching for Larsen within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. He was last seen on August 5th, 2017 in McCarthy, Alaska. The experienced hiker planned to backpack alone in the backcountry. A backpack was found on the Nizina River on Monday, August 28th and helped to narrow the search area. The National Park Service offers sincere condolences to the Larsen family and friends. The agency also wishes to thank the many individuals that helped provide information and those that provided assistance in the search.
News Release

Backcountry and Wilderness Stewardship Plan Proposal.
The plan will provide guidance for all 9.5 million acres of Congressionally designated wilderness in the park, as well as 1.7 million acres of remote backcountry. The Proposed Action for backcountry and wilderness stewardship is now available for public review and comment. A map showing the area covered by the plan is included in the Proposed Action document. Comments on the Proposed Action will be used to make changes and to develop alternatives, which will then be analyzed in an Environmental Assessment. To access the Proposed Action document, you can go to the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website or you can call or e-mail Bruce Rogers and request a copy at 907-822-7276 or Comments can be submitted in several ways and should be submitted no later than July 30, 2016. Comment Submission deadline extended to August 30, 2016. Official News Release
Federal subsistence hunting permits for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve available starting July 25th.
Federal subsistence registration permits for permit hunts in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve will be available starting Monday, July 25, at the park's Visitor Center in Copper Center and the Slana Ranger Station. Permit applicants must be federally qualified subsistence users and meet special eligibility requirements for lands managed by the National Park Service. They must have their primary permanent residence in rural Alaska. Official News Release

Plans Announced for 2016 Federal Subsistence Hunt of Chisana Caribou Herd
The hunt will open on August 10 and close on September 30 or when the quota has been reached. Hunters are asked to report back within three days of harvesting an animal or at the end of the season if unsuccessful. The hunt area is Federal public lands in Unit 12 that lie east of the Nabesna River and Glacier and south of the Winter Trail running southeast from Pickerel Lake to the Canadian border. Eligibility for the hunt is limited to permanent residents of Unit 12, Chistochina, Dot Lake, Healy Lake, and Mentasta Lake. Permits will be available starting July 25th at the Slana Ranger Station, the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge office in Tok, and by contacting Barbara Cellarius, Subsistence Coordinator, at 822-7236 or Official News Release
New Regulations Prohibit Brown and Black Bear Baiting under State of Alaska Regulations in Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve.
As of January 1, 2016, baiting for black and brown bears under State of Alaska regulations is prohibited in Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve. The new National Park Service (NPS) regulations also prohibit taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) from May 1 through August 9 and prohibit using dogs to hunt big game, including black bears. Official News Release

Federal subsistence fishing permits for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve available starting May 9.
Federal subsistence fishing permits for the Glennallen and Chitina Subdistricts will be available starting Monday, May 9, at the park's Visitor Center in Copper Center and at the Slana Ranger Station.Currently the Visitor Center is open Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Slana Ranger Station is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Permits will be available at the Chitina Ranger Station starting Thursday, June 9.For open hours at the Chitina Ranger Station, please call 823-2205 starting June 9. Official News Release

Campfires must be extinguished before vacating any camp site.
Past and prevailing weather conditions have caused extremely dry conditions in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Recently, park officials have found multiple abandoned campfires that had the potential to escape and ignite a wildfire. Please be aware that ALL campfires must be extinguished before vacating any camp site in the Park.Campfires and the use of gas grills and barbeques at campsites will be permitted until further notice in the Park. Official News Release

Hovercraft remain prohibited in all Alaska National Parks and Preserves

As the boating and hunting seasons get underway in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and other areas with the National Park System in Alaska, visitors are reminded that a recent court case has not changed the regulations which prohibit hovercraft on navigable waters.

In March, the Supreme Court unanimously decided to return the case of Sturgeon v. Frost to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.Because the court did not invalidate any of the current NPS regulations, the regulation on hovercraft and others remain in effect until a court rules otherwise.More information on the Court's March 22, 2016 decision can be found at:

Official News Release

Proposed Herbicide Treatments Targeting Invasive Plants.
The Exotic Plant Management Team at WRST has been documenting and managing invasive plants in and around the park since 2003. Herbicides have been used in WRST since 2011 to control infestations which have not responded to manual control efforts. Proposed Treatment Locations are Park Headquarters and Seasonal Housing in Copper Center, Joint NPS/BLM Maintenance Yard in Glennallen, Ranger Station and Seasonal Housing in Slana, Kuskulana Gravel Pit at Mile 16 of the McCarthy Road. Proposed Application Window May 2nd to September 16th. Official News Release

Wrangell-St. Elias Seeks Comments on Subsistence Cabin Permit Application.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve has received an application from a local resident for a permit for use and occupancy of an existing cabin for subsistence hunting and trapping during the fall and winter. The cabin is located on an un-named lake between the Cheshnina and Kotsina Rivers (Sec. 1, T2S, R5E, Copper River Meridian -- see accompanying map). Before taking action on this proposed permit, federal regulations require notice and an opportunity for public comment. Comments on this request are being accepted through July 20, 2016. See Official News Release to submit a comment and view the map.

Last updated: September 25, 2017

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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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