KODIAK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Kodiak is a rugged, beautiful island on the coast of southwestern Alaska. Established in 1941, the refuge provides habitat for brown bear, salmon and other wildlife. Kodiak's scenery is magnificient- rugged mountains, hundreds of miles of shoreline, lakes, marshes, bogs, and meadows. Four-thousand-foot mountains rise from the sea accented with fjordlike inlets. Lush vegetation blankets the mountains ranging from sedges, alders, and spruce to colorful wildflowers and berries.
The 1.9 million-acre Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge roughly encompasses the southwestern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, Uganik Island, the Red Peaks area on northwestern Afognak Island, and all of Ban Island. No place on the refuge is more than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Without roads, the refuge provides a wilderness setting for fish, wildlife, and humans alike.
The refuge is home to an estimated 2,300 brown bears, and at least 600 nesting pairs of bald eagles. More than 250 species of birds live upon or visit the refuge, while more than 1.5 million seabirds overwinter in nearshore waters surrounding Kodiak Island.
The refuge also provides spawning and rearing habitat for all five North American species of Pacific salmon. Salmon produced on the refuge make up approximately 65% of the total commercial harvest in the Kodiak Archipelago.
Kodiak refuge offers superb recreational opportunities. These include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, rafting and camping. The refuge also maintains several remote public-use cabins.
The refuge headquarters and visitor center are located on Buskin River Road, five miles south of downtown Kodiak or 0.5 miles north of the State Airport. Directional signs are posted in town and along Resauof Drive. The center offers displays, videos of Kodiak, a small Alaska Natural History Association bookstore, and trip planning information. In addition, refuge staff offer interpretive programs for visitors and assistance to schools and other groups interested in outdoor class room experiences.
Kodiak Refuge supports a large, diverse fishery, contributing to an annual multi-million dollar commercial fishery, supporting one of the few steelhead sport fisheries on any refuge in Alaska and contributing to the subsistence use of four Native villages adjacent to the refuge. In addition, the refuge fishery resource is an integral and highly dependent food source for one of the highest densities of brown bear populations in the world. Also, hundreds of resident bald eagles depend on the refuge fish populations as food sources.
Pre-establishment - Hunters concerned with the health and survival of the brown bear population petitioned for the establishment of a refuge to protect the world-famous Kodiak brown bear.