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Alaska - conservation and tourism.

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Alaska is the largest state of the United States of America by area; it is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent.

Approximately half of Alaska's 683,478 residents reside within the Anchorage metropolitan area. As of 2009, Alaska remains the least densely populated state of the US.


There is a growing service and tourism sector. Tourists have contributed to the economy by supporting local lodging. Tourism choices should be shaped by the spirit of appreciation, participation, and sensitivity to the environment and community. Communities must understand the reality that at some point tour groups become too large to be considered "ecotourism" and begin to have a negative impact on wildlife, wild lands, Native cultures, and local communities.

Conservation & Sustainability

Since 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the conservation movement in wilderness protection, writing and passing the landmark Wilderness Act, and winning lasting protection for 109 million acres of Wilderness, including 56 million acres of spectacular lands in Alaska.

Alaska’s wild lands are under attack. Alaska contains over 200 million acres of federal public lands – lands owned by individuals in the US.

Alaska Wilderness League works at a high governmental level on a variety of issues affecting Alaska’s wild land and waters. The League exists to lead the effort to preserve Alaska’s wilderness by engaging citizens, sharing resources, collaborating with other organizations, educating the public, and providing a courageous, constant and victorious voice for Alaska in the nation’s capital.

The lands and waters of the unfortunately named National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are not a playground for Big Oil. The area includes some of the worlds most vital natural resources and millions of acres of wilderness lands with critical habitat for millions animals. Currently, there is no real lasting protection for these lands and waters.

The Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association (AWRTA) is a member-led association that represents more than 300 nature-based tourism businesses, individuals, and organizations in Alaska. AWRTA advocates for the sustainability of Alaska's natural and cultural resources, responsible tourism and tourism planning for communities. Member businesses and partners strive to work with communities to protect and enhance the quality of life, to provide good jobs and business opportunities, and to create strong incentives for protecting Alaska's wildlife, wilderness and special places.

AWRTA believes that tourism is based on "resources held in common." Consequently the process for forming natural resource policies need to be broadly defined as well as broadly inclusive.

We are all part of the ecosystem and are, therefore, responsible for our actions within it. Communities, the state, nature-tourism businesses, including AWRTA members and others, must work together to make sure that travel methods and facilities do not change or alter the natural environment nor have a negative impact on the character and economic well-being of communities.

By using a responsible ecotourism partner, Alaska's nature tourism businesses can grow and be sustained without significant altering the wilderness resource or negatively affecting the tourist experience.

Small natural wilderness-dependent, ecotourism businesses can directly benefit local economies and local inhabitants by supporting the economic life of communities without dramatically altering the character of those communities.

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