Alaska focus areas

The Wilderness Society’s work in Alaska focuses primarily on four key areas that are at risk from oil and gas development and logging.

These wild places provide critical habitat for salmon, polar bears, caribou, grizzly bears, whales and many other willdife species. They also are home to Alaska’s indigenous people, who depend on wildlands as a source of food and clean water.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Arctic Refuge is the crown jewel of the nation's wildlife refuge system. You will not find a more pristine landscape, yet every year oil and gas companies lobby Congress to open the refuge to drilling. Our work aims to protect the refuge from such harmful development.

Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is under relentless pressure from oil companies who want to drill for oil offshore. An oil spill here could be disastrous for Arctic wildlife and the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge. We're fighting efforts to drill until more scientific knowledge and effective spill-response technology can be developed.

Western Arctic Reserve

This 22 million-acre region, also known as the Western Arctic Reserve, is vital to millions of migratory birds, thousands of caribou and numerous polar bears, musk oxen and wolves. We’re working with the Interior Department to keep drilling rigs out of the most sensitive areas.

Photo credit: Flikr creative commons: bcanepa_photos

  • Michael Reinemer

    Development of natural areas in the United States, coupled with expected changes in climate, have increased the importance of migration corridors that connect protected natural areas. Large, connected wild lands reduce the isolation of animal and plant populations and allow for migration and movement that can help preserve populations of wild species and enhance genetic and ecosystem diversity. 

  • Sarah Graddy

    An analysis of more than 8,700 low-producing natural gas wells in two counties in the San Juan Basin, San Juan and Rio Arriba, determined that BLM’s rule will have little to no negative impact on these marginal wells.

    The results of the study indicate that the new rule—which aims to reduce waste from venting, flaring and leaks from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands—will actually increase overall production and royalties paid to support vital services in the state of New Mexico.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The measure would permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, protect two wilderness areas in New Mexico and address water supply and river restoration efforts in the Yakima Basin in Washington state.