Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge
Aghileen Pinnacles, Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge
The Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge started life as a National Monument created by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The intent was to create a protected unit to support the ecology and wildlife values of this area of the Alaska Peninsula. To the east is Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. In the middle is Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve. In the west is Izembek National Wildife Refuge. To the southwest is a long stretch of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Obviously, the Federal Government felt there is a lot in this neighborhood worth protecting and that needed protection.
The refuge is home to populations of moose, caribou, brown bear, marine mammals, fish, shorebirds and other migratory birds. Another reason for the Refuge status was the need to provide a Federal unit that would also comply with the regulations of treaties signed with various Alaska Native corporations.
The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1999 devastated whole regions of the Alaska Peninsula. Shortly after the main clean-up operations came to an end, the biologists moved in to make regular surveys of the marine and avian populations to see how they were coping in the aftermath of that disaster.
Typical landscape on the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge
Mount Veniaminof, Alaska Peninsula NWR
A typical mountain range on the Alaska Peninsula
Photo of the Aghileen Pinnacles courtesy of John Sarvis, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Photo of the Alaska Peninsula NWR landscape courtesy of Karen Bollinger, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Photo of Mount Veniaminof courtesy of ME Yount, USGS
Photo of Mountain Range courtesy of Mark Emery, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Map courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service