Western Arctic Reserve

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

Despite its very unfortunate official name, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is one of the wildest and most ecologically intact unprotected landscapes on the planet. At 22.8 million acres, a size greater than 10 Yellowstone National Parks, the NPR-A is the largest land unit in the country. While its name may conjure up images of roads, pipelines and drilling platforms, the reserve is a largely undisturbed place vital to tens of thousands of caribou, millions of migratory birds, polar bears, wolves and musk oxen.

At The Wilderness Society, 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, the Colville River and the Utukok Uplands. These areas, among others within the NPR-A, are special habitats and unique areas within our nation’s network of public lands.

Work we’re doing

The Wilderness Society works to protect the region's wilderness values and keep drilling rigs out of the most ecologically important areas.

Our partners

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

  • Tim Woody

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s bill to authorize oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge has advanced out of committee and is poised to be attached to the Republican tax package. It will then go before the full Senate for a filibuster-proof vote requiring only a simple 51-vote majority to pass.

  • Kate Mackay

    Today a national coalition of sportsmen, recreation, business and conservation groups calls on the Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke to make good on its promise to the American public that it is against the widespread sale or transfer of 445 million acres of public lands under the department’s management authority.

  • Tim Woody

    The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill’s supporters claim such drilling would raise $1 billion in revenue to offset tax cuts, despite best estimates indicating that revenue target is highly unrealistic.

    In response to today’s committee vote, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from its president, Jamie Williams: