What We Do

The Refuge has four main programs: Subsistence Management, Biological Monitoring and Research, Public Use Management, and Environmental Education

Management and Conservation

Refuge conservation plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well.

Our Services


For over 10,000 years, humans have depended on the natural resources of the upper Tanana River drainage for survival. These land and water resources have been essential for food, clothing, shelter, tools and items for trade and barter with neighbors. This way of life is based upon an elemental reciprocal agreement made in the dawn of prehistory between man and the wildlife of Alaska. For his part, man agreed to take only what he needed and to be respectful of the wildlife and fish. In return, the animals and fish promised to freely give themselves to him so that he too might survive on the land.

This agreement is a basis of the cultural heritage of the native people of interior Alaska today. Many other rural residents share this natural resource philosophy. The Refuge offers several subsistence opportunities to local residents: a winter moose and caribou hunt, a spring waterfowl hunt and fishing opportunities throughout the year. The subsistence way of life is protected by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. 

Sport Hunting & Fishing

Hunting and fishing are popular activities on the Refuge. All anglers and hunters must have a current Alaska hunting or fishing license and follow state and federal regulations. Certain hunts for non-residents require the use of a licensed and permitted guide. The types of hunts that require a guide are spelled out in the state hunting regulations. (For a list of Refuge permitted guides please contact the Refuge office.) For regulations and details on purchasing state licenses, contact the Refuge office or Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (Federal subsistence moose and caribou hunts require a special permit available at Refuge headquarters.)

Public Use Cabins

Refuge public use cabins are available for free on a first come, first served basis except during the state hunting season when they are available through a lottery system. 

Call 907-883-5312 for more information. 

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits are required for any commercial activity on the Refuge. Other non-commercial activities may require a Special Use Permit. Please contact the Refuge for more information.

Import / Export Permits

If you need to cross through Canada (or are from another country) and plan on taking home any wildlife parts (including, meat, furs and handicrafts containing wildlife parts) you may need an import/export permit, “Declaration of Import/Export 3-177.”

Fish and Wildlife Inspector’s Office, Anchorage Airport (907) 271-6198
Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Office, Anchorage (907) 271-6198
Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Office, Fairbanks (907) 456-0255
Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Office, Tok ( 907) 883-5312

Marine mammal parts (ivory, baleen, etc.) are not allowed into Canada. All pieces containing any marine mammal parts must be mailed or flown back to the lower 48.

For more information you'll need Declaration Form 3-177 (for importers and exporters). 

Our Projects and Research

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.

Laws and Regulations

Applicable regulations are posted in the campgrounds and on trailheads located on the Refuge. In order to keep the Refuge experience enjoyable for everyone, please follow all appropriate regulations. Answers to some of the more common questions that help preserve the Refuge for the enjoyment of all are below.

  • No All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)/Off Road Vehicle (ORV) use is permitted on the Refuge. Snowmachine use is permitted when snow cover is sufficient, as determined by the Refuge Manager. 
  • Campground camping is limited to 14 days in a 28 day period. 
  • Quiet hours in the campgrounds are from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. 
  • Discharge of firearms is prohibited within 1/4 mile of campground per state law.
  • Please maintain control of pets at all times. 
  • Only collection of dead standing and downed wood is permitted for campfires. 
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Fireworks are prohibited in campgrounds.

Overnight camping is allowed in highway pullouts throughout the state of Alaska unless otherwise noted.