Nearly $100 million in investments will expand access to national parks and public lands throughout the state
ANCHORAGE — In celebration of National Park Week 2022, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland spent several days in Alaska this week celebrating the state’s national parks, public lands, and outdoor recreation economy. The visit comes as the Interior Department honors Earth Week, a time to renew our collective commitment to protect our planet for current and future generations.
Thursday, she traveled to Kenai Fjords National Park, where she toured the park, met with Interior employees, and heard about the impact of the worsening climate crisis on the landscape.
Friday, Secretary Haaland met with local, elected and Alaska Native leaders and community members from the North Slope Borough in Utqiagvik. Her visit highlighted ongoing efforts to support and invest in sustainable economies across the state. She also took an aerial tour of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska’s North Slope with Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams.
Secretary Haaland’s week-long visit underscores the importance of critical infrastructure investments and funding opportunities that will help ensure Alaskan communities have healthy lands and waters, continued access to the outdoors, and the foundation for future jobs and economic opportunity.
Nearly $100 million in funding is available this year for Alaska’s national parks, public lands and critical services, including from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Bill and other revenue sources in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
Alaska is set to receive nearly $40 million in funding for transportation improvements for multiple projects through the Federal Lands Transportation Program, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation, including projects at Denali National Park Preserve, Sitka National Historic Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Preserve.
The National Park Service is utilizing $7.4 million for repair and rehabilitation projects in Alaska. An additional $4.3 million to Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve will replace the visitor center and headquarters water treatment system.
Secretary Haaland visit also highlighted the success of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is investing $4.9 million to improve recreational opportunities on public lands, protect watersheds and wildlife, and preserve ecosystems throughout Alaska. Of that funding, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve received $3.5 million to acquire private inholdings that were originally conveyed as Native Allotments to tribal citizens. White Mountains National Recreation Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management received $650,000 for land acquisition along the Beaver Creek National Wild and Scenic River Corridor. Katmai National Park and Preserve received a total of $550,000 for land acquisitions, and Denali National Park and Preserve received $150,000 for land acquisitions.
During her trip, Secretary Haaland has also focused on additional funding opportunities the state has received. Over $39 million is provided to Alaska through the fiscal year 2022 omnibus, which also includes:
- $26.2 million for the Alaska Land Conveyance Program
- $5 million to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people
- $4.5 million towards joint operations for the Alaska Volcano Observatory with the U.S. Geological Survey
- $1 million in the Earthquake Early Warning System