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Noatak National Preserve

Noatak National Preserve

As one of North America's largest mountain-ringed river basins with an intact, unaltered ecosystem, the Noatak River environs features some of the Arctic's finest arrays of plants and animals. The river is classified as a national wild and scenic river, and offers surperlative wilderness float-trip opportunities - from deep in the Brooks Range to tidewater of the Chukchi Sea. Noatak National Preserve lies almost completely enclosed by the Baird and De Long mountains of the Brooks Range. In the lower river valley, the northern coniferous forest thins out and gradually gives way to the tundra that stretches northward to the Beaufort Sea.

The Noatak basin is internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve. Under this United Nations scientific program, the area's ecological and genetic components are monitored to establish baseline data for measuring changes in other ecosystems worldwide. Information can also be gathered here on sustainable uses of natural resources by humans. Sustainability is exemplified by the Inupiat and other Native peoples who have lived off the land of northwest Alaska for many thousands of years.


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