Katmai NP Seeking Public Comments Over Backcountry Management Plan

The following is courtesy of Katmai National Park and Preserve:

NPS Photo/Russ Taylor

King Salmon, Alaska. – This week, the National Park Service (NPS) will begin seeking public review and comment on the Katmai National Park and Preserve and Alagnak Wild River Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan. The month-long comment period begins March 21, 2022.   

The purpose of the Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan is to preserve the wilderness character of Katmai’s designated and eligible wilderness and guide the long-term management of visitor use, and cultural and natural resources in both wilderness and backcountry areas of Katmai National Park and Preserve and Alagnak Wild River. The term “backcountry” is a generic descriptor for primitive, undeveloped portions of a park unit (as distinct from highly developed frontcountry areas). The plan is needed to safeguard wilderness character, address the effect of concentrated and increasing visitation, and to provide guidance and direction for managing commercial and private visitor use.  

The NPS planning team has identified the following four key issues facing the Katmai Wilderness and the Katmai and Alagnak backcountry areas. The wilderness and backcountry management plan needs to address all of these issues to ensure wilderness character is maintained, resources are protected, and opportunities are provided for a high-quality visitor experience.  

  1. Impacts of Increased Concentrated Visitor Use on Wilderness and Backcountry Areas   
  2. Human-Wildlife Interactions and Potential Conflict  
  3. Management of Commercial Services as Visitor Demand Increases   
  4. Challenges for managing wilderness and backcountry areas with limited staff across millions of acres and ANILCA wilderness complexities  

The public is invited to provide input between March 21, 2022 and April 19, 2022 by visiting the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website or attending a public meeting on March 23, March 30 or April 7, 2022.  Submit commits and find detailed information about the public meetings on the project website athttps://parkplanning.nps.gov/katmai-wbmp.   Once on the website select “Open for Comment” to provide thoughts or ideas. The project site will provide information on public meeting opportunities as well. To learn more about this planning effort, visit our storymap  https://bit.ly/katmaistorymap.