Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Preservation

Management

Shared Mission of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and the Beringia Shared Heritage Program:


"...recognize and celebrate the contemporary and historic exchange of biological resources and cultural heritage shared by Russia and the United States on both sides of the Bering Strait."

Bering Land Bridge National Preserve was established by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) on December 2, 1980.As stated in ANILCA, Section 202 (2), the purpose of Bering Land Bridge is to:


Bering Land Bridge National Preserve shall be managed for the following purposes, among others: to protect and interpret examples of arctic plant communities, volcanic lava flows, ash explosions, coastal formations, and other geologic processes; to protect habitat for internationally significant populations of migratory birds; to provides for archeological and paleontological study, in cooperation with Native Alaskans, of the process of plant and animal migration, including man,between North America and the Asian Continent; to protect habitat for,and populations of, fish and wildlife including, but not limited to,marine mammals, brown/grizzly bears, moose, and wolves; subject to such reasonable regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, to continue reindeer grazing use, including necessary facilities and equipment,within the areas which on January 1, 1976, were subject to reindeer grazing permits, in accordance with sound range management practices;to protect the viability of subsistence resources; and in a manner consistent with the foregoing, to provide for outdoor recreation and environmental education activities including public access for recreational purposes to the Serpentine Hot Springs area. The Secretary shall permit the continuation of customary patterns and modes of travel during periods of adequate snow cover within a one-hundred-foot right-of-way along either side of an existing route form Deering to the Taylor Highway, subject to such reasonable regulations as the Secretary may promulgate to assure that such travel is consistent with the forgoing purposes.

Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is one of over 390 National Park Service units that, working with other partners, helps safeguard this nation's natural and cultural heritage.

Park Purposes:

Protect and interpret examples of arctic plant communities,volcanic lava flows, ash explosions, coastal formations, and other geologic processes; Protect habitat for internationally significant populations of migratory birds; Provide for archeological and paleontological study, in cooperation with Native Alaskans, of the process of plant and animal migration between North America and the Asain Continent; Protect habitat for, and populations of fish and wildlife including, marine mammals, brown/grizzly bears, moose, and wolves; Continue reindeer grazing use; Provide for outdoor recreation and environmental education activities at Serpentine Hot Springs



Selected Park Interpretive Themes:
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve lies at the heart of continental crossroads that profoundly influenced the distribution of life in the Western Hemisphere, including peopling of South America as well as spreading of Eskimo culture to Greenland - Europe - Asia

.



People have been a an integral and continuous part of Northwest Alaska

natural ecosystems for the past 12,000 years.



Local residents depend on the use of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve's resources as the foundation of their subsistence way of life.



Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains internationally significant resources that document the dynamic environment of the arctic region.



Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is of a wilderness character, containing ecosystems as they have evolved, naturally, with only isolated manifestations of Euro-American influences.

Centennial Initiative 2016

Centennial Vision
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, America invites the world to discover the meaning of national parks to their lives and inspires people to both experience and become devoted to these special places.

On August 25, 2006 – the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne launched the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare national parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment. Since then the National Park Service asked citizens, park partners, experts and other stakeholders what they envisioned for a second century of national parks.

A nationwide series of more than 40 listening sessions produced more than 6,000 comments that helped to shape five centennial goals. The goals and vision were presented to President Bush and to the American people on May 31st in a report called The Future of America’s National Parks.

Every national park staff took their lead from this report and created local centennial strategies to describe their vision and desired accomplishments by 2016. This is just the first year, and there are many great things to come as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate 100 years!

Fire Management

Can wildland fires burn on the treeless arctic tundra of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve? Yes! but they are usually infrequent occurrences. The maritime climate near the coast creates cool and mild summers which don’t lend themselves to suitable fire conditions. However, inland from the coast, the rolling landscape of tussock and shrub tundra experiences periodic fires. These areas are somewhat drier, warmer and occasional thunder and lightning storms associated with 80F or 90F temperatures occur.  

 

The immense sweeps of tundra are what firefighters call fuel, vegetation that can and will burn when conditions are right. Tussock tundra has tufted mounds of sedges (grass-like plants) that build up layers of loosely compacted dead leaves and roots under the plants. To a firefighter, tussock tundra means a lot of fuel. Tussock tundra is also a fine fuel which means it wets and dries out very quickly. During dry periods a lightning strike can ignite this fuel type very easily. In windy conditions it burns quickly and can be remarkably intense. On the flip side, a wetting rain shower can not only extinguish the flames in less than an hour and but also the entire fire may be out in one to two days. After two weeks time vibrant green shoots will likely appear on the blackened tundra.

 

Wildland fire is an important driver of change in the tundra ecosystems of Bering Land Bridge. During the very warm, dry summer of 1977 over 1 million acres of mostly arctic tundra burned in Northwest Alaska, with large fires occurring throughout the Seward Peninsula and the Noatak River watershed. In Bering Land Bridge 9 fires burned over 280,000 acres.

 

NPS Fire Management protects human life, property, and cultural and natural resources that warrant protection. Managers also allow fire to fulfill its role as a natural process to the fullest extent possible.