The Initiative


Many of these questions we do not have answers for. Some we do. As for the important question of whether we can manage such a large-scale resource, the answer is a definative, “We think so.” The Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative was formed around these questions. Although conservation begins with a question, implementation of a conservation plan requires many answers that we do not have.

Life of a migratory bird is not easy. This lifestyle requires the use of many different habitats and ecosystems throughout the year. Breeding grounds must offer sufficient food, nesting habitat, and nursery habitat for successful clutch rearing. Stopover sites and staging areas must provide abundant, accessible, high-quality food. Wintering areas must have sufficient food and safe roosting areas for the birds to survive to the breeding season. And all these features must be available at the right time. Deficiencies at any point can cause adverse effects. Over thousands of years, migratory birds have evolved to become part of a complex natural system, and in many places humans are changing this system faster than the birds can respond.

Migratory birds do not recognize geopolitical boundaries—that ability would solve many conservation issues. If we recognize and conserve an important wetland in Alaska, we ensure a healthy breeding area. But migratory birds need more than that. We must conserve their stopover sites in Washington, and California as well. In addition, their wintering sites, which may extend from Mexico to South America, are equally important. We must identify and conserve regions all along the Pacific Flyway regardless of manmade borders and political boundaries. Such action will require national and international cooperation.

With this goal in mind, the USDA Forest Service International Programs, the Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Chugach National Forest, and Ducks Unlimited are establishing the Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative. This initiative will concentrate efforts on migratory waterbirds. Because of their association with wetlands, and the pressing conservation issues surrounding wetland areas, waterbirds face unique conservation challenges.


Key Contacts

Chugach National Forest
161 East 1st Avenue, Door #8
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Glacier Ranger District
P.O. Box 129
Forest Station Road
Girdwood, AK 99587
(907) 783-3242

Cordova Ranger District
P.O.Box 280,
Cordova, AK 99574
(907) 424-7661

Seward Ranger District
33599 Ranger Station Spur
Mile marker 23.5
Seward, AK 99664
(907) 288-3178

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail Map

Northern Pintail Map

Copper River International Migratory Bird Initiative Logo