National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska
A sea otter at Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service manages 76,774,229 acres spread across 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. These properties are all specifically dedicated to wildlife conservation, although many areas see a lot of pressure from mining and energy interests. Most of these National Wildlife Refuges also have Alaskan Native villages still existing on them (Yukon Delta NWR even includes the city of Bethel). The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and the Alaska Statehood Act of 1958 conveyed more than 15,000,000 acres of land within previously designated National Wildlife Refuge boundaries to the State of Alaska, Alaska Native corporations and private individuals. It seems all the land entitlements are still not finalized but there is private land scattered everywhere across Alaska. Many of these areas are signed but some are not. Most Native corporations offer land use permits for visitors, getting one on your way in is an easy way to avoid future problems.