Happy 50th Birthday, Arctic Refuge! Help us give the gift of greater protections

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Brendan O'Brien.

For 50 years the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been a place of untrammeled beauty, an untouched Eden in the last frontier. But that tranquility is again under attack from short-sighted politicians in Washington that want to spoil the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System with roads and oil drills.

The Arctic Refuge has been under constant threat from oil drilling, threatening the caribou, polar bears, and native Gwich’in people that call the Refuge their home.

Now some elected officials are trying to open up the Arctic Refuge to the oil companies, thinking that by destroying one of the last magical places on earth, they can somehow drill America to energy independence.

The Wilderness Society has been fighting for the Refuge since before it was created a half a century ago. Past Wilderness Society leaders Olaus and Mardy Murie were one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Arctic Refuge, and The Society has been on the front lines of protecting the Arctic Refuge ever since.

Caribou in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Courtesy USFWS.Support us in fighting to protect this pristine landscape — and keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge looking like this: 

  

  

  

 

Instead of this: Oil well on Alaska's North Slope. Photo by Anne Gore.

  
  

  

  

  

 

The Crown Jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System

At 19 million acres, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska is one of the largest in the nation. It features a complete range of arctic and subarctic ecosystems, with an extraordinary array of wildlife — including polar bears, caribou, and birds.

The Arctic Refuge is home to caribou, polar bears, and many other species like musk oxen and arctic foxes.

Learn more about the wildlife of the Arctic Refuge here.

From the Arctic Tundra to Your Backyard

One of the oft-overlooked aspects of the Arctic Refuge is the incredible number of songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl that begin their lives in the Arctic Refuge. These birds travel tremendous distances, to the Gulf of Mexico, the Chesapeake Bay, the Pacific Coast, and even to Antarctica.

Learn more.

The Long Fight for the Refuge

The battle over the Arctic Refuge has been raging for decades. There are times of relative calm, but until all of the Arctic Refuge is designated as a Wilderness area (the strongest degree of protection), the threat of drilling has loomed like a shadow over the Refuge.

Learn more.

Arctic Newsroom

The latest news from the Arctic Refuge:

Enjoy a gorgeous slideshow by Carl Donohue, entitled ANWR photos - 50 years and 50 photos of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for a deeper glimpse into the majesty of the Refuge.

photos:
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Brendan O'Brien.
Caribou in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Courtesy USFWS.
Oil well on Alaska's North Slope. Photo by Anne Gore.

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