"Duncan Lake and Sturgeon River" by Lisa , public domain
75 years of Conservation
Celebrating 75 years of Conservation at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Celebrating 75 years of Conservation! Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge © Jeff Jones Can you imagine a Kodiak without bears? Neither can we. Originally established to protect brown bears and their habitat, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge celebrates seventy-five years this August! the first live-trapping of brown bears in Alaska. For nearly eight decades, refuge biologists have pioneered scientific studies to better understand, monitor, and manage refuge resources. Concern from an emerging local guiding industry, their clients, and conservation partners supported protection for the bears; on August 19th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that set aside nearly 2 million acres, “for the purpose of protecting the natural feeding and breeding range of the brown bears and other wildlife on Uganik and Kodiak Islands, Alaska.” Educational programs inspire youth involvement as champions of Kodiak wildlife and habitat; this year, the Refuge also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Salmon Camp, a beloved and awardwinning science summer camp. Staff continue this legacy with current academic partnerships: researching bear and salmon interactions on a large landscape scale, investigating changes in climate and the nesting ecology of the rare Kittlitz’s murrelet, and initiating a pilot study of berries and their importance to bears. USFWS Established During a Time of War For at least 7,500 years, people and bears have coexisted on the Kodiak Archipelago. Increasing pressure from civilization at the turn of the 20th century led to a declining Kodiak brown bear population. At the same time, the world began to take notice of the incredible size and unique natural history of the iconic animal. USFWS Discover YOUR Kodiak Refuge One of Alaska’s oldest and best-known wildlife refuges, Kodiak provides access to a stunning diversity of landscapes and wildlife and attracts thousands of visitors annually. The recreational experience of a lifetime, both visitors and residents seek the remote adventure of observing bears in their natural habitat, fishing for wild salmon, or hunting the misty fjords and rugged mountains. A bounty of plants, fish, and wildlife sustains local communities and a culture of subsistence. Stewardship & Scientific Legacy A gem among America’s public lands, today the Refuge plays a global conservation role as a steward for interdependent species within one of the world’s few remaining intact ecosystems. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge has a rich history of cutting-edge scientific research, from early cooperative work with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries on salmon research at Karluk Lake to This Special Place As we celebrate the history of the refuge and reflect on our relationship with this special place, we have the opportunity to think about the next 7500 years: a future of conservation, education, and stewardship of Kodiak’s wildlife and habitat. Please join us in the journey!