Access & Planning

An angler fishes the Kenai River with scenic snow-covered mountains in the background
An angler fishes the Kenai River

Public lands and waters in Alaska provide tremendous opportunities to experience our fish, wildlife, and other public resources. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game works to ensure that the public’s right to access publicly owned resources is protected. ADF&G biologists participate in a variety of land use review processes by contributing knowledge of fish and wildlife populations and habitats and how best to conserve them concurrent with land use activities.

Fishing and Hunting Access

An important part of any hunting, fishing, or wildlife viewing trip is making a plan before you go. Plan how you will access your hunting and fishing sites.

Land Use and Access Planning

ADF&G participates in land use review processes that include land use planning, permit and lease reviews for activities on State lands and waters, and reviewing land disposals that may affect fish and wildlife and public use of these resources. ADF&G staff also review proposed land development activities on federal lands under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) on actions under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Staff coordinate with other agencies to identify and maintain public access. Land use planning for state lands is a collaborative, adaptive process by which land managers, biologists, members of the public, and local stakeholder groups work together to produce State Area and Management Plans that guide and inform the day-to-day decisions about the use and development of Alaska’s lands and waters. ADF&G is frequently afforded the opportunity to comment and make recommendations alongside the general public in borough and local planning and platting actions.

Large rocky bluff and shoreline of the McNeil River State Game Refuge
McNeil River State Game Refuge.

Special Areas Planning

The State Legislature has designated 32 special areas as state game refuges, critical habitat areas, and wildlife sanctuaries, which are managed by ADF&G. To facilitate management of these areas, ADF&G develops plans to guide the approval of activities and development so that they are conducted in a manner compatible with the purpose for each special area.

Instream Flow Program

Alaska’s valuable fish and wildlife resources require sufficient amounts of good quality water to thrive in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands. ADF&G’s Instream Flow Program provides scientific expertise to research and develop instream flow recommendations required to maintain healthy fish habitat in rivers and lakes.

Anchor River/Fritz Creek Habitat Area
Anchor River/Fritz Creek Critical Habitat Area.