Kenai

National Wildlife Refuge - Alaska

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, United States. It is adjacent to Kenai Fjords National Park. This refuge was created in 1941 as the Kenai National Moose Range, but in 1980 it was changed to its present status by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The refuge is administered from offices in Soldotna. There is a wide variety of terrain in the refuge, including muskeg and other wetlands, alpine areas, and taiga forest. The refuge protects several large mammals, including wolf packs, brown bears, black bears, dall sheep, moose, Canadian lynx, and caribou, as well as thousands of migratory and native birds. There are numerous lakes, as well as the Kenai River, and the refuge is a popular destination for fishing for salmon and trout.

brochures

Visitor Guide to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kenai - Visitor Guide 2020

Visitor Guide to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

After the Swan Lake Fire at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kenai - Swan Lake Fire

After the Swan Lake Fire at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Cabin Program at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kenai - Cabin Program

Cabin Program at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Kenai NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kenai https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenai_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, United States. It is adjacent to Kenai Fjords National Park. This refuge was created in 1941 as the Kenai National Moose Range, but in 1980 it was changed to its present status by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The refuge is administered from offices in Soldotna. There is a wide variety of terrain in the refuge, including muskeg and other wetlands, alpine areas, and taiga forest. The refuge protects several large mammals, including wolf packs, brown bears, black bears, dall sheep, moose, Canadian lynx, and caribou, as well as thousands of migratory and native birds. There are numerous lakes, as well as the Kenai River, and the refuge is a popular destination for fishing for salmon and trout.
K enai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Guide Sw an F E d ir L a iti e ke on Fire Safety Tips p.4 Fishing p.14 Explore Skilak Lake p.8 kenai vg 2020.indd 1 5/26/20 8:52 AM Contents After Fire Hazards . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Wildlife Viewing & Safety . . . . . 5 Cabins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7 Skilak Wildlife Rec. Area . . . 8-11 Skilak Map Popular Day Hikes. . 8-9 Skilak Points of Interest . . . . . . . 10 Camping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Canoe System . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Fishing and Hunting . . . . . . . . .14 Welcome to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge T his special edition of Refuge Reflections includes safety information, maps and recommendations for visitors specific to the newly burned area in the years following the Swan Lake Fire of 2019. Many refuge roads and recreation sites were affected in some way by the fire. Be aware that trails were burned, leaving weakened trees that can fall. In addition, deep ash pits that look like solid ground, but will collapse under foot, are present, and exposed roots, holes and other tripping hazards are a real danger. Campgrounds were protected by dedicated firefighters, but access roads may be affected by falling trees, and because of rain and snowmelt, this danger is still active on these roads. Finally, new opportunities for mushroom foraging exist in the burned area, bringing with it a new set of challenges in a landscape where many hazards still remain even after the flames disappear. Details provided in this visitor guide will help when making plans to visit, camp, hike or drive through the Swan Lake Fire burned area. Useful Contact Information . . 15 Visitors Guide Swan Lake Fire Edition Refuge Coordinator: Leah Eskelin Contributors: Matt Conner, Kristi Bulock, Mike Hill, Kevin Painter, Leah Eskelin, Ian Shive Produced and Designed by All photos and maps courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife unless otherwise noted. Moose Pair cover photo courtesy Wild North Photography. The Visitors Guide is published by the Alaska Geographic Association in cooperation with Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It is funded by revenue generated from Alaska Geographic store sales. © Alaska Geographic 2 Personalized visitor information is available at the Refuge Visitor Center in Soldotna, which provides year-round educational programming, hiking/ski trails and community events. Call or stop by to start planning your adventure on the Kenai. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge - Visitor Guide kenai vg 2020.indd 2 5/26/20 8:52 AM The Kenai Peninsula 2019 Swan Lake Fire Impact Where is the Burned Area? The map (below) of the 2019 Swan Lake Fire perimeter does not show the details of its burn scar. The Swan Lake Fire burned with a variety of intensities over the four months it was active on the Kenai Peninsula, burning hot through black spruce stands while dancing lightly around wetlands. Wildfire in Alaska’s forests creates a mosaic of different landscapes. Before visiting the burned area, consider hazards and include alternatives to your plan in case conditions in the “burn area” make it inaccessible. 2019 Swan Lake Fire Perimeter March 1, 2020 167,182 Acres What about Wildlife? KENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE Sterling Hig hway Skilak Lake Animals in this fire-adapted ecosystem react to smoke just as humans do, moving away and seeking shelter in safe zones like wetlands and lakes. Though some individual animals may not avoid harm, their species’ population benefits as a whole from the forest’s rebirth after fire. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge - Visitor Guide kenai vg 2020.indd 3 3 5/26/20 8:52 AM Traveling In Forested Areas After A Fire Walking On Dangerous Ground Hazard Trees Ash Pits The duff that held tree roots in place has now been burned away leaving trees very unstable. Duff layer. A layer of moderately to highly decomposed leaves, needles, fine twigs, and other organic material found between the mineral soil surface and litter layer of forest soil. Safety Tips Ash pits may look like solid ground on the surface, but underneath can be inches to feet deep of smoldering ash. Ash Pit. A hole in the ground filled with ash, possibly containing hot embers beneath. It may be imperceptible from the ground above, and can remain dangerous long after flames and smoke are no longer visible. • Look up, down and around! • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. • Do not walk on trails during windy days. • Share your hiking plans with friends and family. • Plan your trip! Avoid areas with hazard trees after storms. Safety Tips • Stay on designated trails. • Keep Pets on trails. • Do not allow children to play in burned areas. • Carry a hiking stick to check the ground for ash pits. Trip Hazards Fire has burned underneath trails in many areas leaving holes in and alongside of trails. Exposed roots have also been left behind since duff has been burned away. Safety Tips 4 • Be aware of trail conditions • Watch y
After the SWAN LAKE Swan Lake Fire PUBLIC INFORMATION Hazards, Harvest & Hope KENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE in this Mosaic Landscape Wildfire in Alaska’s forests creates a mosaic of different landscapes. A visit to the area reveals where the actual “burned area” is accessible to visitors. O AI PENINS LA Regrowth of new plants has already begun within the Swan Lake Fire scar. The boreal forest restarts through a process called succession. Young plants like fireweed and willow will feed a wide variety of wildlife species while trees sprout saplings, grow taller and later restore the forest canopy. Old trees prepare for fire’s return by growing abundant seeds that will sprout in the recharged post-fire soils. Mushrooms like morels are essential to this forest rebirth, decomposing organic material into new soil. Downed trees catch this soil and wind-blown seeds, creating the habitat needed for new plants to grow and reducing the risk of soil runoff after rains. U After the Fire - Swan Lake 2020BRO.indd 1 What Happens Next? B Know Before You Go: Learn more about potential hazards and risks to visitors inside this brochure. Animals in this fire-adapted ecosystem react to smoke just as humans do, moving away and seeking shelter in safe zones like wetlands and lakes. Though some individual animals may not avoid harm, their species’ population benefits as a whole from the forest’s rebirth after fire. H The map (above) of the 2019 Swan Lake Fire perimeter does not show the details of its burn scar. The Swan Lake Fire burned with a variety of intensities over the four months it was active on the Kenai Peninsula, burning hot through black spruce stands while dancing lightly around wetlands. What about Wildlife? KE N Where is the Burned Area? R O U G 4/16/20 2:49 PM Traveling In Forested Areas After A Fire Is Walking On Dangerous grounD Hazard Trees Ash Pits Trip Hazards The duff that held tree roots in place has now been burned away leaving trees very unstable. Ash pits may look like solid ground on the surface, but underneath can be inches to feet deep of smoldering ash. Duff layer. A layer of moderately to highly decomposed leaves, needles, fine twigs, and other organic material found between the mineral soil surface and litter layer of forest soil. Ash Pit. A hole in the ground filled with ash, possibly containing hot embers beneath. It may be imperceptible from the ground above, and can remain dangerous long after flames and smoke are no longer visible. Safety Tips • Look Up, Down and Around! • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. • Do not walk on trails during windy days. • Share your hiking plans with friends and family. • Plan your trip! Avoid areas with hazard trees after storms. Mushrooms! After fire, morel mushrooms grow in abundance. Mushrooms harvested on the Refuge may not be sold. Please visit the Chugach NF website for information on harvesting mushrooms of the forest. Closely inspect each mushroom to ensure it is a true morel. False morels do grow here too. After the Fire - Swan Lake 2020BRO.indd 2 Safety Tips • Stay on designated trails. • Keep Pets on trails. • Do not allow children to play in burned areas. • Carry a hiking stick to check the ground for ash pits. True Morel • Cap & Stalk are one unit • Hollow Stem YES Fire has burned underneath trails in many areas leaving holes in and alongside of trails. Exposed roots have also been left behind since duff has been burned away. Safety Tips • Be Aware of Trail Conditions • Watch Your Step! • Use Caution on Trails Affected By Fire False Morel • Brain like pattern • Thimble- like cap • Stem through center • Stem filled with NO cottony material DO NOT EAT 4/16/20 2:49 PM
Nurses Cabin Occupancy 2 Pipe Creek Cabin $35 Occupancy 2 Location: north shore of Tustumena Lake Access: boat, snowmobile, float/ski plane, hike, ski, horseback Kasilof Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Public Use Cabin Program $35 Location: north shore of Tustumena Lake in Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: boat, float/ski plane, snowmobile Have you ever wanted to relax in a rustic cabin? to Soldotna Coho Loop Road Nurses Cabin Now you can! Reserve a cabin at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Ste rli ng Hi gh wa y Caribou Island Cabin Pipe Creek Cabin Big Bay Cabin Cost: $35 - $45 per night plus booking fee. Emma Lake Cabin Maximum stay: 7 nights Cabins accomodate 4-6 occupants depending on cabin size. What is provided: Each cabin has bunk beds, wood heating stove, table, benches, and an outhouse. A campfire ring is provided outside. Cabins are periodically supplied with broom, shovel, bow saw, water bucket and fire extinguisher. Caribou Island Cabin Big Bay Cabin Emma Lake Cabin What you need to bring: Sleeping bags, camp pads, camp stove, cook pots, dishes, water purification, food, toilet paper and garbage bags. You will need to secure food, garbage and supplies from bears during your stay and pack out all trash. Firewood: Bring dry kindling with you. It is recommended that you also bring prepared firewood. You may collected dead and down wood for use during your stay. However, available dead and down wood may be very limited in the immediate area. To Make a Cabin Reservation: Visit www.recreation.gov and search for “Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Cabins” or call a recreation.gov representative at 1-877-444-6777 Occupancy 4 $35 Location: on island on Tustumena Lake in Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: boat, float/ski plane, snowmobile, ski Occupancy 2 $35 Location: south shore of Tustumena Lake in Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: boat, float/ski plane, snowmobile, ski Occupancy 2 1st Come - 1st Served Location: east shore of Emma Lake in Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: boat to Lake Emma Trail and a 3.5 mile hike to the cabin NOTE: Emma Lake is CLOSED to public aircraft operations. Direct Link to all 14 cabins on recreation.gov: http://1.usa.gov/tsavSb For Cabin Specific Questions: Call Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm) 907-262-7021 McLain Lake Cabin Big Indian Creek Cabin Pincher Creek Cabin Vogel Lake Cabin Occupancy 4 Vogel Lake Cabin Occupancy 4 $45 Location: southeast end of McLain Lake Access: float/ski plane, snowmobile, canoe Snag Lake Cabin Occupancy 4 $45 Location: south shore of Pincher Creek Access: wheeled planes (only experienced pilots; no developed landing strip) $35 Location: north bank of Big Indian Creek Primary access: wheeled plane, snowmobile $35 Location: south end of Vogel Lake in the Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: float/ski plane, snowmobile Occupancy 2 Pincher Creek Cabin Trapper Joe Cabin Big Indian Cabin McLain Lake Cabin Snag Lake Cabin $45 Location: east shore of Snag Lake on a prominent peninsula Access: float/ski plane, snowmobile in e Swan Lake Road Dolly Varden Lake Cabin Kelly Lake Cabin Upper Ohmer Lake Cabin acce ss) ry Creek Ro ste (se y ad ason M al Swanson $45 Location: north shore of Dolly Varden Lake Access: boat, ski, snowshoe Sk il Soldotna Refuge Visitor Center Occupancy 4 ak La Kelly Lake Cabin ke Ro a d $45 Location: north shore of Kelly Lake in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation area. Access: boat, hiking, ski, snowshoe Sterling Highway Sterling Engineer Lake Cabin 1st come-1st served Location: north shore of Trapper Joe Lake Primary access: float/ski plane, snowmobile, ski (Seasonal access: licensed 4WD trucks) Dolly Varden Lake Cabin River Road Occupancy 4 Occupancy 2 Trapper Joe Cabin Ga sL Occupancy 4 Visitor Contact Station (seasonal) Cooper Landing Occupancy 4 $45 Location: Upper Ohmer Lake in Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area Access: Short 1/8 mile walk, seasonally handicapped accessible with assistance Doroshin Bay Cabin Engineer Lake Cabin Upper Ohmer Cabin Doroshin Bay Cabin Occupancy 4 $45 Location: north shore of Engineer Lake in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area Access: boat, hike, ski, snowshoe Occupancy 2 $35 Location: eastern shore of Skilak Lake in the Kenai NWR Wilderness Access: Boat, float/ski plane, ski, snowmobile

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