Land Information

Maps and Land Status Categories in GMU 23

Land status in GMU 23 is a patchwork of requirements applied by federal, state, borough, and private land managers in this portion of Alaska. To view summaries of land status in GMU 23, please refer to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Geospatial PDF maps below. You may print these from your home computer or download them to your mobile device. Depending on the mobile device and the viewer application, you may be able to access special geospatial features. Alternatively, you may contact the BLM office in Fairbanks at 1-800-437-7021 or 907-474-2200 to receive CDs.

More information is available from:

Hunting on Federal Lands

If you will be hunting on federal lands, you must consult the federal regulations for the harvest of wildlife on federal public lands in Alaska.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) lands are generally open to all (i.e., local and nonlocal) hunters. Please contact the Kotzebue office of each agency (BLM 907-442-3430; USFWS 907-442-3799) to see if current hunting restrictions exist and to get any needed federal permits.

National Park Service (NPS) land consists of parks, preserves and monuments. Hunting is generally allowed by resident (local and Alaska) and nonresident (out of state) hunters on national preserves; however, hunting is controlled by both state and federal regulations. Contact the Kotzebue NPS (907-442-3890) or ADF&G (907-442-3420) for information on hunting in the Noatak National Preserve. NPS parks and monuments are closed to hunting by the general public and are open only to federally qualified subsistence users, defined as residents of:

Communities and areas near a national park or monument which contain significant concentrations of rural residents who, without using aircraft as a means of access for purposes of taking fish or wildlife for subsistence uses, have customarily and traditionally engaged in subsistence uses within a national park or monument.

Please check the current regulations for communities and areas that qualify for the subsistence resident hunts.

Guides, Air Taxis and Transporters

The Squirrel River area is of special interest to BLM and has been identified as a “Special Recreation Management Area”. Commercial aircraft must obtain a transporter permit to land on BLM-managed lands in the Squirrel River Special recreation Management Area. Guides must obtain a permit from the BLM for any use of BLM lands.

USFWS requires permits for all guides, air taxis and transporters operating in the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge. You can download the permit application off of the USFWS website. All pilots should be aware that large tracts of private land exist within the refuge boundary and that these lands are not open to the public.

NANA Regional Corporation and Kikiktagruk Inupiaq Corporation (KIC) Land Use Policies

NANA lands are closed to all non-shareholders for any purpose. However, non-shareholders whom have lived in NANA communities for a minimum of five years may apply for a permit to use NANA lands. For more information on land use policies, contact NANA at 907-442-3301 or read about NANA Regional Corporation Land Use Policies.

KIC Land Department has land-use policies in place to protect the corporation’s resources and regulate use by non-shareholders. To obtain more information about shareholder and non-shareholder land-use policies, please contact the KIC Land Department in Kotzebue at 907-442-3165.

Noatak Controlled Use Area

The Noatak Controlled Use Area (CUA; 5AAC 92.540 [9]) consists of that portion of Unit 23 in a corridor extending five miles on either side of, and including the Noatak River, beginning at the mouth of the Noatak River, and extending upstream to the mouth of Sapun Creek. The Noatak CUA is closed from August 15 through September 30 to the use of aircraft in any manner for big game hunting, including the transportation of big game hunters, their hunting gear, or parts of big game; however, this provision does not apply to the transportation of big game hunters, their hunting gear, or parts of big game to and between publicly owned airports. Pilots and passengers not hunting big game may utilize the CUA for other purposes.

The big game species affected by the Noatak CUA include: bear (brown or black), caribou, moose, muskox, sheep, wolf and wolverine. Aircraft access is only allowable to and from the state-maintained airport at the village of Noatak when hunting these species. During the aircraft closure period, hunters can fly into or out of the Noatak airport then access the CUA by any means other than aircraft.