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

    The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will be a unit of the National Park Service and was announced on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which was established on August 25, 1916.

  • Max Greenberg

    The next fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, meaning that Congress is running out of time to cobble together "must-pass" appropriations legislation that will pay for the day-to-day expenses of the federal government.

    But in what has become a sad annual commentary on some leaders' dereliction of America's conservation tradition, the process is gummed up with counterproductive “riders” that have no place in the appropriations process, and would hurt wildlands right when they sorely need our help.

  • Jennifer Dickson

    The court rejected a claim by Elko County Nevada that it owns a road, commonly known as the South Canyon Road, at the edge of the Jarbidge Wilderness within the federally managed Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The ruling officially disapproved a 2001 settlement agreement between the United States and Elko County that would have given the county the right-of-way.