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

    Senator Cantwell, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has scheduled a hearing in Seattle on August 27 to examine wildfire issues.  Senator John Barrasso, who chairs that committee’s Public Lands, Forests and Mining subcommittee, is also scheduled to participate in the hearing.

  • Tim Woody

    When President Obama visits Alaska at the end of August, climate change will be a key focus of his trip. The Wilderness Society developed the following memo to provide a brief primer on key Alaska public lands where the effects of climate change can already be seen. This information is intended to ease your research and inform your reporting during the president’s visit. It focuses on four areas where the president’s administration has made major, important decisions:

  • Anastasia Greene

    “We are heartened to see that President Obama is focusing on clean energy as part of building an enduring environmental legacy in the last 18 months of his presidency, and the Clean Power Plan is a good start,” said Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society, one of the oldest conservation groups in the United States. "This administration has shifted the role our public lands play in powering the nation. We have solar projects on public lands for the first time ever.