Alagnak Wild River

History

History & Culture

You might float the Alagnak River today and hardly see another soul. But don't be fooled this resource-rich area has been home to human communities for thousands of years.

Archeologists surveying the river have found sites belonging to the Paleoarctic tradition (9,000 to 7,000 years ago). The oldest radiocarbon dated sites are about 2,300 years old. From these ancient campsites and villages all the way to modern fish camps, the Alagnak bears witness to the people who lived there.

Modern Alutiiq people from Levelock, Iguigig, Naknek, and other villages make use of the Alagnak area for subsistence fishing, hunting, berry picking, and firewood gathering.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Why was the Alagnak designated as a "Wild River"? The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act declared it a policy of the United States that "selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations." By designating the Alagnak River, Congress mandated that the Alagnak Wild River be administered in such a manner as to protect and enhance the values which caused it to be included in said system without, insofar as is consistent therewith, limiting other uses that do not substantially interfere with public use and enjoyment of these values.

The Bureau of Outdoor Recreation's "Wild and Scenic River Analysis" (June 1, 1973) for the Alagnak cites the river's outstandingly remarkable scenic, fish and wildlife, and recreation attributes as the primary reasons the river qualified for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.