Western Arctic Reserve

The Western Arctic Reserve contains some of the world’s best and most sensitive wildlife and bird habitat.

The 22 million-acre Western Arctic reserve, also called the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, is vital to thousands of caribou, millions of migratory birds, polar bears, wolves and musk oxen.

At Wilderness, we work to ensure that oil development in the Western Arctic Reserve occurs responsibly and that sensitive special areas are protected from drilling.

Why the Western Arctic Reserve

The Western Arctic Reserve provides some of the world’s best and most sensitive wildlife and bird habitat - including the famous Teshekpuk Lake.

Work we’re doing

The Wilderness Society works with the Department of the Interior, which manages the reserve, to keep drilling rigs out of the most sensitive areas.

Our partners

We work with a number of local, regional and national conservation groups to help protect the Western Arctic Reserve.

  • 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.