The WISE office is headquartered in the small community of Kenny Lake within Alaska’s Copper River Basin. Little more than a mile from our front door lies the largest park and preserve in the U.S., Wrangell-St. Elias. Its western border, the Copper River, is the landmark that ties this region together and is famous the world over for its salmon. The landscape is covered by extensive boreal forest. Our namesake Wrangell Mountains, sit just 30 miles to the northeast and are easily visible on clear days. To our south, the Chugach Mountains run all the way to Anchorage and receive more average annual snowfall than anywhere else on Earth.
Though positioned at roughly the same latitude as Anchorage nearly 200 miles to the west, the interior climate of the upper Copper River Basin experiences a much greater swing in temperatures. Summer highs can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit while the winter lows dive to -50 degrees Fahrenheit.