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.

  • BLM Planning 2.0 hearing support documents

  • 2015 Audited Financial Statements

  • This report describes how the U.S. government agency that oversees 700 million subsurface acres of oil and gas resources on nearly 250 million acres of public lands is saddled with outdated and unbalanced policies, often contradicting its own mandate to manage the land for multiple uses.

    90 percent of the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management is open to oil and gas leasing, even in areas with little or no potential for developing these resources, compromising potential for protecting wildlife and recreation, while encouraging speculative leasing.