New Yup'ik-English guide to invasive species is a first for the Forest Service and a practical identification and prevention tool for Bush Alaska.

Release Date: Jan 19, 2012

Cover of Yupik translated publication.

Protecting Southwestern Alaska from Invasive Species – A Guide in the English and Yup’ik Languages

Southwestern Alaska is comprised of vast stretches of forests, wetlands and mountains, much of which is remote wilderness. Scattered across this landscape are roughly 120 communities many of whose residents live subsistence lifestyles and observe traditional cultures closely tied to the natural environment. The Yup’ik people of southwestern Alaska represent over 25,000 individuals, about half of this area’s population, and are the largest group of Native Alaskans fluent in their traditional language.  The logistical difficulty of reaching many parts of Southwestern Alaska has helped to protect its ecosystems, and maintains them in a relatively pristine condition. For this reason invasive species and the problems they create have been relatively unheard of in these communities.  However, those individuals, families and communities dependent on subsistence resources are likely to be the ones most severely impacted by the introduction of an invasive species.

The people’s strong sense of stewardship, wealth of traditional knowledge, and limited routes of transportation are key components of preventing invasive species from disrupting the ecosystems of Southwest Alaska.  Learning how invasive plants, insects and animals spread and interact with their environment, how other communities have worked to prevent or eradicate them, and what resources exist to help control the spread of exotic organisms may be critical to preserving the landscape and culture for future generations.

The Alaska Region of the USDA Forest Service and the Center for Alaskan Coastal  Studies, with the help and contributions of many individuals and organizations from around the State, have produced the booklet “Kellutellra Alaskam Ungalaqlirnera Eniaritulinun Itrallerkaaneng - Maaryartekaq Kassat Yup’iit-llu Qaneryaraigtun –Protecting Southwestern Alaska from Invasive Species – A Guide in the English and Yup’ik Languages”.  This booklet contains information in both languages, side-by-side, on how invasive species spread and affect ecosystems; stories of from across the State on how invasive species are impacting Alaska, and how local communities and organizations are responding; a selection of invasive species of concern to Southwestern Alaska; and a summary of resources that are available for those concerned about invasive species moving into their communities.

An audio version of the publication will be available in the future.

For more information contact Nick Lissuzo,  (907)  374-3758




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Key Contacts

Regional Public Affairs

Jackie Chandler
Director, Public Affairs
(907) 586-8803

Forest Public Affairs

Chugach National Forest

Brandon Raile
Public Affairs Specialist
Chugach National Forest webpage

Tongass National Forest

Paul Robbins Jr.
Public Affairs & Partnerships
Tongass National Forest webpage