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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Dude Creek — Critical Habitat Area
Management Plan - Development - June 2011


In 1988 (§ 1 ch 31 SLA 1988) the Alaska Legislature established the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area (CHA) to protect and enhance wet meadow habitats for lesser sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) and for the continued public use and enjoyment of the area. The CHA is located on the Gustavus Forelands in southeast Alaska and encompasses approximately 4,082 acres of open wetlands graduating to scrub pine and spruce forests.

The purpose of the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area Management Plan is to provide consistent, long-range guidance to ADF&G in managing the CHA. This draft plan presents management goals for the CHA and its resources; it also identifies polices to be used in determining whether proposed activities are compatible with the protection of sandhill cranes and other fish and wildlife, their habitats, and public use of the critical habitat area. The draft includes a list of proposed regulations for implementing the plan. Proposed regulations may be revised prior to adoption based on public comment and any subsequent changes to management plan policies. ADF&G will conduct a separate regulatory review for these regulations after the management plan is finalized later this year.

The plan addresses activities that may affect sandhill crane and other fish and wildlife habitat, fish and wildlife populations, and public use of those resources. The plan does not address hunting, trapping, and fishing, or other topics that are the responsibility of the Alaska Board of Game or the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

What's Happening Now

ADF&G is distributing copies of the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area Management Plan and requesting comments from the general public on this draft plan and the proposed policies. These public comments will be used in the development of the final management plan.

You may download a copy of the Public Review Draft of the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area Management Plan using the links below.

If you are interested in obtaining a higher resolution map, contact Frances Inoue at (907) 267-2321 or

Hard copies of the Public Review draft will be available from ADF&G offices in Anchorage and Douglas, as well as from City Hall in Gustavus and the Esther Greenwald Library in Hoonah.

The draft plan is available for public review and comment through July 11, 2011.

You may submit written comments to


Dude Creek CHA Management Plan
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Division of Habitat
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518-1565

The Management Planning Process

The department began in February 2010 by holding public scoping meetings in Juneau, Hoonah, and Gustavus) to better identify the issues that should be addressed by the plan. We prepared draft maps depicting critical habitat area boundaries, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and land ownership and made them available at the meetings.

After public scoping, we formed a planning team, representing federal, state, and local agency representatives with responsibilities on critical habitat area lands. The team developed the draft management plan based on:

  1. the issues identified at the public meetings,
  2. critical habitat area resource values,
  3. the purpose for which the area was established, and
  4. additional guidance provided in law.

The public review draft of the management plan includes a summary of the public meetings and management issues. The plan also includes management goals for the critical habitat area and its resources, and presents policies to be used in determining what types of activities are compatible with the purposes for which the CHA was established.

The department will develop the final management plan based on comments received during the public review process. The Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will adopt the final plan, and the goals and revised policies will be codified pursuant to the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act.

More Information

For more information on the planning process, please contact the Division of Habitat at (907) 267-2342.