History of AKCFWRU

The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is part of a nationwide program dating back to 1935 when the first Units were formed under cooperative agreements between the U.S. Biological Survey [predecessor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)], state conservation agencies, land grant universities, and the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). These Units were created to foster college-level research and graduate student training in support of science-based management of fish and wildlife and their habitats.

In 1960, Congress passed the Cooperative Units Act (P.L. 86-686), authorizing the Unit program as a line item in the budget of the FWS. By Executive action, the Units were moved from the FWS to the newly formed National Biological Service (NBS) in 1994, then to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1996 when the NBS was incorporated into the USGS as the Biological Resources Division (BRD), now known as the Ecosystems Mission Area.

The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit was formed in 1991 by the merger of the Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit (est. 1950) and the Alaska Cooperative Fishery Research Unit (est. 1978). The Alaska Unit exists by cooperative agreement between the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), USGS, FWS, and WMI.