Scenic photo from Glacier Bay National Park's backcountry including a wildflower and views into park waters and designated wilderness.

GLBA Backcountry and Wilderness Management Plan - July 2022

The National Park Service is seeking public input on the draft Backcountry and Wilderness Management Plan for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This draft management plan outlines the long-term vision for Glacier Bay wilderness lands and waters within the park. It describes how the park will preserve Glacier Bay's exceptional backcountry and wilderness visitor experiences, resources, and values into the future. The park proposes to do this by refining backcountry management zones from the 1984 General Management Plan; defining the resource conditions, visitor experiences, and facilities and services desired in each zone; and developing strategies and actions to achieve and maintain overall and specific desired conditions.

This plan supplements the 1984 general management plan with updates that largely focus on:

o Meeting all the requirements of the 1964 Wilderness Act as implemented by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA) and current law and policy, balanced with the park's enabling proclamation objectives of science and tidewater glacier access.

o Serving as a collaborative vision for providing visitor opportunities and managing visitor use in the wilderness—including commercial use—to protect resources and connect visitors to fundamental park experiences and values.

o Recognizing and honoring the rich cultural tapestry of Indigenous use and occupation in the wilderness and supporting the enduring connection between the Tlingit and their Homeland. The plan will highlight Indigenous Homeland values embraced by Glacier Bay's original people and advance agencywide conversations about diverse cultural perspectives and values.

Stakeholder input is key to long-term, effective planning and decision making. The plan incorporates what we learned through public engagement in 2020 and 2021, government-to-government consultation with the Hoonah Indian Association and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, and the findings of visitor social science research that took place in the park in 2017 and 2018. Through the current public comment process, the park invites general feedback on the draft plan alongside specific responses to the questions listed below.

Comment Period: Closed        Jul 20, 2022 - Aug 20, 2022
Topic Questions Instructions:
We rely on your feedback to help guide our stewardship, so please take an active role and offer your unique perspective on the vision and actions being proposed at this time. NPS is particularly interested in gathering specific thoughts and ideas related to the following questions:
Topic Questions:
1. Are there additional management strategies that we should consider across all zones or for specific zones to achieve desired conditions? Are there management actions in the draft plan that should be removed or altered? Why?
2. Do you prefer Option 1 or Option 2 for the Frontcountry Access Zone (pages 50-51)? What specific elements of the options appeal to you and why?

• Option 1 is no change from current management direction, where recreational hiking in designated Wilderness originates on trails in Bartlett Cove or is focused primarily on beaches and in untracked wilderness, generally accessed from the water.
• Option 2 would enhance opportunities for recreational backpacking and hiking originating from road-accessible trailheads in the Gustavus area for traditional park users and those who may not have the resources, equipment, time, or skill to engage in a backcountry experience that is only accessible from the water.
3. How does the plan align with your desired experiences of Glacier Bay Wilderness, including its opportunities for non-commercial self-driven exploration and commercially guided (or supported) exploration?
4. Any other thoughts to comments to share?
Document Content:
GLBA_Draft BWMP_Part I_508.pdfGLBA_Draft BWMP_Part I_508.pdf   (10.5 MB, PDF file)
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