What We Do

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

Pacific black brant cluster together during winter on marine waters near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

Management and Conservation

Refuges deploy a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools span active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach to benefit both wildlife and people. 

The Izembek Refuge staff is responsible for administering four separate refuge units encompassing 2.9 million acres: Izembek Refuge; the Pavlof and North Creek units of Alaska Peninsula Refuge; and Unimak Island of Alaska Maritime Refuge. 

Izembek Refuge has a Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Its purpose is to specify a management direction for the refuge for the next 15 years. It describes the goals, objectives, and strategies for improving refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, management actions needed to achieve desired conditions, and preferred alternative for managing the refuge and its effects on the human environment. Email izembek@fws.gov for a copy. 

Our Services

If you're a resident of Cold Bay or a visitor, our staff are on hand to assist you. Whether you have a question about the refuge or its wildlife, need a federal subsistence special use permit, we are at your service. Pacific walrus, brown bear and other furbearer sealing by appointment Monday - Friday. 

Our Projects and Research

Refuge staff monitor several species to fulfill the refuge's mission. Working cooperatively with the State of Alaska staff assist with aerial surveys throughout the year to monitor the health and productivity of the Southern Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd. Surveys of brown bear, moose, tundra swans, Pacific black brant, Taverner's and cackling Canada geese, emperor geese, other waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds monitor population numbers and productivity. Since 1961, refuge staff have captured and banded Steller's eiders (a threatened species) during their molting period on Izembek Lagoon. The data generated by these studies provide wildlife managers with critical population and survival rate information.

Law Enforcement

Alaska’s 16 National Wildlife Refuges are patrolled and protected by Federal Wildlife Officers. Federal Wildlife Officers are law enforcement professionals charged with protecting natural resources and public safety across the National Wildlife Refuge System. Their jobs may entail welcoming early morning refuge visitors, checking hunter licenses alongside state wildlife officers, helping refuge staff conduct biological surveys or giving a safety presentation to local schoolchildren. Using vehicles, snow machines, OHVs, boats, and even planes, Federal Wildlife Officers continue to connect and build relationships with the people of Alaska, rural and urban. Anyone with questions regarding USFWS law enforcement is encouraged to contact a local officer. For all who enjoy and rely upon the resources in National Wildlife Refuges, the USFWS Division of Refuge Law Enforcement is here to protect those resources for future generations.  Learn more, visit the Refuge Law Enforcement page.