To provide empowering public education that inspires stewardship of bald eagles and other wildlife.
Biodiversity keeps life on this planet beautiful and thriving. Our vision is a human population dedicated to maintaining this vast diversity of species. We hope to foster appreciation and respect for the natural world in our guests by giving them the inspiration and tools they need to become effective stewards.
The American Bald Eagle Foundation began with one man’s vision to create a facility that could increase our understanding and appreciation of the bald eagle and the natural history of Southeast Alaska.
In 1982, Haines local Dave Olerud, with the assistance of his friend Hans Fluehler, founded the American Bald Eagle Foundation. The construction of the natural history museum began in the spring of 1987. Then, in 1994 the ABEF opened its doors to the public for the first time.
Over the next twenty years ABEF grew substantially, doubling the size of the museum and adding hundreds of specimens to the growing collection. In 2010, a raptor center was added. Today the natural history museum is home to all varieties of life related to the Chilkat Valley, and the raptor center has twelve resident avian ambassadors who help teach the public about their unique species.
With the help of the Rasmuson Foundation, the ABEF is now looking to the future. Along with the Foraker Group, we are working to re-design the bird’s aviaries from the ground up. These plans include a free-flight space and a weathering yard so guests can connect with the birds in a closer setting. Stay tuned for more information on this project as we continue to build toward the future of the American Bald Eagle Foundation.