Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

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Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Kenai Glacier and Glacial Lake.jpg
Glacier and glacial lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Map showing the location of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Map of Alaska, United States
Location Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States
Nearest city Soldotna, Alaska
Coordinates 60°20′N 150°30′W / 60.333°N 150.500°W / 60.333; -150.500Coordinates: 60°20′N 150°30′W / 60.333°N 150.500°W / 60.333; -150.500[1]
Area 1.92 million acre (7,770 km²)
Established 1941 (as Kenai National Moose Range), 1980 (ANILCA, present status as wildlife refuge)
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website Kenai NWR

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is a 1.92 million acre (7,770 km²) wildlife preserve located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, United States. The 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. 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 wolves, brown bears, black bears, dall sheep, Alaskan moose, 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. The refuge has several campgrounds and boat launches, including two developed campgrounds, one at Hidden Lake and another at Skilak Lake, both accessible from Skilak Lake Loop Road, which intersects the Sterling Highway at both ends.[2] The refuge is administered from offices in Soldotna.

As with most national wildlife refuges, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is open to hunting.[3] However, the hunting of brown bears in the refuge has recently been banned due to an overkill of over 10 percent of the population. The refuge remains the only national wildlife refuge in Alaska that is closed to brown bear hunting.[4][5]

Funny River Fire[edit]

Main article: Funny River Fire

The Funny River Fire, a human-caused fire that began on May 19, 2014, had burned largely in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.[6] During firefighting activities, a wolf den was damaged by a bulldozer and 5 pups (3 males and 2 females) were rescued by firefighters.[7] The pups were taken to the Alaska Zoo and were later transferred to the Minnesota Zoo.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kenai National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ The Milepost 59th edition, pg 588 ISBN 9781892154217
  3. ^ "About the Refuge". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Excessive kill of Kenai Peninsula brown bears could put their population at risk". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kenai refuge immediately closed to brown bear hunting due to sow kills". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Incident Information System  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Wolf Pups Rescued From Funny River Fire In Alaska's Kenai National Wildlife Refuge". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Wolf Pups Rescued from Alaska Fire Find New Home". NBC. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]