Aerial Photographic Survey of the Unalakleet Drainage


In the early 1990ʼs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provided a blueprint of management and restoration of riparian-wetland areas. The initiative recognized Alaska as a “special situation” in that only a small proportion has been disturbed. Most riparian documents about Alaska emphasize inventorying and maintaining these habitats. However, little emphasis has been given to inventorying Alaska riparian-wetland areas primarily due to the assumed condition of riparian habitat, limited funding, the remoteness of the water bodies, and the sheer magnitude of the number of miles of riverine habitat in the state. In 1998, BLMʼs Washington Office directed BLM-Alaska to inventory 500 miles of riparian habitat. To meet this goal, BLM-Alaska first assessed areas that were readily accessible but it became evident that to assess the large number of more remote areas in a cost efficient and reasonable time frame would require a different approach. Advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and techniques developed at BLMʼs National Applied Resource Sciences Center (employing small-scale aerial photography to assess Proper Functioning Condition) combined with a statistical procedure were applied to document the condition of vast amounts of remote and primarily pristine riverine riparian areas in Alaska.

Publication Date




Collection: BLM Library
Category: Report


Wetlands and Riparian