In southern Alaska the Ophioglossaceae are represented by one species of Ophioglossum and eight named species of Botrychium. In the latter there are six species of moonwort ferns (subgenus Botrychium), one grapefern (subgenus Sceptridium), and B. virginianum, the rattlesnake fern in subgenus Osmundopteris. In addition, there are three distinct undescribed species and several unusual moonworts not clearly fitting known taxa. The State of Alaska does not maintain a threatened and endangered species list, but the U.S. Forest Service is mandated to manage habitats to maintain viable populations of plants; therefore Botrychium is afforded protection on National Forest System lands. Habitat disruption resulting from off-road vehicle use and trampling are currently the greatest human-caused threat to Botrychium. Several Botrychium occupy sandy beach-beach meadow habitat, and this habitat is used by an increasing number of off-road vehicles, resulting in Botrychium habitat degradation. Only after the taxonomy, distribution and habitat needs of Botrychium are better understood, and the various landowners cooperate in land use management, will we be able to effectively deal with Botrychium conservation issues across southern Alaska.

Key words: Alaska, Botrychium, distribution, habitat disruption., habitat