Paper No. 229-12
Presentation Time: 4:45 PM
TRACING THE CONSERVATION HISTORY OF ALASKA: EARLY PROTECTED AREA PLANNING AND ANILCA, ROLE OF SUBSISTENCE IN CONSERVATION AND ALIGNMENT WITH INTERNATIONAL DEFINITIONS
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980 created over 100 million acres of protected areas in the state, culminating a decades-long process for determining how lands and resources in the state would be allocated and managed. An act of such scale and coordination has rarely been seen in international conservation history, and was born out of years of research, collaboration and compromise. Equally rare was the consideration and permission of traditional indigenous subsistence use within Alaska’s protected areas. This research, implemented through the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks program, traces the roots of conservation thinking in Alaska, documenting examples of early discussions around conservation in the state and uncovering how these thought processes were reflected in the establishment of federally protected areas. This project will also evaluate the consideration of subsistence use on protected areas in Alaska with a focus on the incorporation of Alaska Native values and rights into the conservation planning process and ultimate designations. Finally, the uniqueness of Alaska as a vast, undeveloped, largely roadless area with minimal private land ownership makes it an especially useful case study in conservation planning and implementation. Drawing on lessons from the state as a case study, this project will also examine how the network of protected areas in Alaska aligns with broader international guidance for managing protected area systems.