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Deyighił’aaden Cultural District

Welcome to the Deyighił’aaden Cultural District. We hope you have a safe and wonderful visit. Deyighił’aaden (also known as Wood Canyon) consists of private land owned by Ahtna, Incorporated and Chitina Native Corporation. Land crossings outside of the State of Alaska right of way are permitted at the discretion of the landowner and in accordance with a valid land use permit.


Rules

  • No highway vehicles south of O’Brien Creek. ATVs less than 62” wide only.
  • Land outside of right-of-way and above ordinary high-water mark is private property. Land Use Permits are required when crossing Ahtna, Inc. and Chitina Corporation lands. Avoid posted No Trespassing areas.
  • Land Use Permit and Fee Parking stations are located at O’Brien Creek and Haley Creek.
  • Personal or vendor-purchased firewood only. No wood cutting allowed on private property.
  • Land crossing/camping prohibited at Eskilida Creek to protect cultural sites.
  • Access at Haley Creek limited to Foot Traffic Only. Be prepared to park at designated parking area and utilize established foot trails to protect habitat.

FAQ

What do I need to know if I am visiting Ahtna lands?

Ahtna lands are privately-owned and requires purchase of a land use permit for activities such as camping, land crossing, parking, fishing and general recreation. Permits are issued for predator control (bear, wolf and coyotes) and using one of Ahtna’s allowed hunting guides allows you to hunt sheep and moose; all other hunting, however, is strictly prohibited.

The purchase of an Ahtna land permit helps support important programs to help maintain the lands for enjoyment by current and future generations including moose browse projects, vegetation and wildlife nutrition programs and fire fuel breaks to name a few. Use of Ahtna lands without a permit is considered trespass under Alaska State law. Download the Ahtna map app before visiting the region to help determine who owns the land you are exploring.

Permits can be purchased on this site under the “Permits” section. Day-use and overnight-camping permits may also be purchased at select pay stations located on Ahtna land. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Ahtna Land Department at 907-822-3476 or landdepartment@ahtna.net.

What happens if I trespass on Ahtna lands?

Ahtna lands are considered private property under Alaska statute. Any non-authorized use on Ahtna lands will be considered trespass and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Ahtna Land Department at (907) 822-3476 or landdepartment@ahtna.net.

Is the Ahtna land use permit the same as the Chitina land use permet?

Chitina Village lands are owned by Chitina Native Corporation, which is separate from Ahtna and will require a permit for use of its lands. Chitina Native Corporation permits are available by calling (907) 823-2223. Popular dipnetting areas on Chitina Village lands are at O’Brien Creek and Salmon Point. Both areas have pay stations for day use and camping permits. Ahtna pay stations are located at Haley and Eskilida Creeks south of O’Brien Creek, and at the Kotsina River on the southwest corner of the Copper River Bridge.

Can I fish on Ahtna lands?

Fishing is the number-one recreational use of Ahtna lands. People travel to the Ahtna Region from all over Alaska, other states and around the world for our renowned Copper River red salmon. The Klutina and Gulkana Rivers also support a king salmon fishery.

The most popular fishery in the Ahtna Region is the Chitina dipnet fishery, with over 10,000 personal-subsistence dipnet permits issued annually for this area alone. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a helpful video on its website on how to dipnet at Chitina.

*Please note that Chitina Village lands are owned by Chitina Native Corporation, which is separate from Ahtna and will require a permit for use of its lands. Chitina Native Corporation permits are available by calling (907) 823-2223. Popular dipnetting areas on Chitina Village lands are at O’Brien Creek and Salmon Point. Both areas have pay stations for day use and camping permits. Ahtna pay stations are located at Haley and Eskilida Creeks south of O’Brien Creek, and at the Kotsina River on the southwest corner of the Copper River Bridge.

Fishing for grayling and Dolly Varden char is available in the Copper River Basin. Fly fishing for grayling and Dolly Varden char is popular in the Cantwell area.

How can I help protect and preserve the lands in the Ahtna region?

Help protect and preserve the lands in the Ahtna region by using them responsibly and ethically. This area is of great cultural and spiritual importance to the Ahtna Athabascan people who have called it home for over 5,000 years.

  • Know Before You Go: Make a plan, check conditions and confirm land ownership before setting out.
  • Pack It In, Pack It Out: Properly dispose of waste. There are few restroom facilities or trash receptacles available in the vicinity.
  • Leave No Trace: Dispose of fish waste by chopping carcasses into pieces and tossing into fast flowing water. Leave rocks, plants, and artifacts where you found them for the enjoyment of others.
  • Show Respect: Keep a distance from cultural, historical, and spiritual sites. Burial grounds are resting places of our Ancestors and should be left untouched.
  • Respect Wildlife: Quietly observe wildlife from a safe distance. Keep wildlife wild and healthy; do not feed them.
  • Be Fire Safe: Campfires are not allowed on Ahtna and Chitina lands outside established campground rings. Campfires are subject to seasonal Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations and landowner policy.

Please respect private property and avoid posted No Trespassing areas. The disturbance of remains, graves, monuments or associated items without authorization is a punishable offense under Alaska State law. The maximum penalty/fine for defiling archaeological, cultural and historic sites and for the trespass, damage or theft of resources is up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.

Can I have a fire on Ahtna lands?

Campfires are not allowed on Ahtna and Chitina lands outside established campground rings. Campfires are subject to seasonal Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations and landowner policy.


Purchase a Land Use Permit

A separate land use permit is required to access both Ahtna and Chitina’s private lands

We ask that you respect this land as it is our home. The purchase of a land use permit, and compliance with its terms, helps support important programs to maintain these lands for current and future generations. Ahtna land use permits can be purchased below, at local pay stations, or by telephone (907) 822-3476).

Chitina Native Corporation permits are available by calling (907) 823-2223.