Alaska Wilderness League works to ensure that Alaska's wild landscapes endure to support vibrant communities and abundant wildlife for generations to come.
While fall is evident just about everywhere in the lower 48, winter is already moving into Alaska. In honor of the season, please meet a few of the Arctic’s most incredible animals — creatures who endure extreme, dynamic conditions in their own extraordinary way.Read more
In early November, the League hosted a spectacular event at the Burke Museum Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle to honor President Jimmy Carter, announce this year’s recipient of our Adam Kolton Storytelling Grant Award, and celebrate our dedicated board who continues to support the League all year long in our tireless fight to protect America’s Arctic.Read more
El Niño’s reach extends to the Arctic Ocean, triggering a rise in sea surface temperatures which lead to Arctic ocean warming. This seemingly subtle change enacts profound consequences. As the ice in the Arctic Ocean melts at an accelerated pace, it alters the balance of this sensitive ecosystem, impacting polar bears, seals, and countless other species. This shrinking ice cover also contributes to rising sea levels, impacting coastlines worldwide.Read more
Today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that President Biden will designate Laura Daniel-Davis as Acting Deputy Secretary, replacing outgoing Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau. Daniel-Davis enters this position with more than three decades of public policy, non-profit and government experience focused on public lands conservation and partnerships.Read more
Alaska Wilderness League celebrates its 30th anniversary, and honors Jimmy Carter, a U.S. leader devoted to protecting the environment and one of Alaska’s greatest conservation heroes.Read more
The history of the proposed Ambler Road project has been ongoing for years. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Interior, under the Trump administration, approved federal permits for the road. Thanks to that advocacy, and thousands of other engaged activists from the Ambler region, Alaska, and across the nation, we now are close to exactly what we requested.Read more
Amidst planning and preparations for activities in late summer and early fall, Polly Andrews graciously offered a new composition and song as a gift to Alaska Wilderness League. In doing so, Polly shared that the song was made possible in part by the support of the 2022 Adam Kolton Alaska Storytelling Grant Award, enabling her to partner with Yup’ik (Ossie Kairaiuak, Chefornak) and Cup’ik (Michael Ulroan, Chevak) artists. Those partnerships will continue thanks to the grant award, in addition to upcoming workshops with the Kuspuk School District (in the Kuskokwim River village of Lower Kalskag) and North Star Behavioral Health center.Read more
Did you catch the good news? Last week, the Biden administration announced a suite of actions to protect diverse landscapes across America’s Arctic, recognizing the importance of Alaska’s public lands and waters for communities, biodiversity and our global climate. Oil and gas development across the Arctic is a major threat, and these announcements get us…Read more
PEOPLE LIKE YOU KEEP PLACES LIKE THESE WILD:
ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Protecting the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is crucial because of its exceptional wilderness, wildlife, habitat and subsistence values. It is sacred to the Gwich’in People and other Indigenous communities in Alaska and Canada, who rely on its resources for food, as well as cultural and spiritual practices. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Act) included a provision that opened the coastal plain to oil and gas development and mandated two lease sales by 2024. The Biden administration has revoked existing leases and we continue to work with the administration to restore protections to the Arctic Refuge coastal plain.
Photo credit: Micah Baird
NATIONAL PETROLEUM RESERVE-ALASKA
Development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in Alaska's western Arctic has begun, and ConocoPhillips' Willow project is the poster child for the type of massive fossil fuel development that must be avoided today if we’re to avoid the worst climate impacts down the road. Allowing oil drilling in and around the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area would also threaten an essential cultural area and food source for North Slope communities. Willow would significantly increase ConocoPhillips’ presence in the western Arctic while placing all the burden of development on the people and wildlife of the region.
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST
The Tongass National Forest serves as a nationally important carbon sink by storing more carbon than any other forest in the country. It is also the linchpin of Southeast Alaska’s economy, attracting people from around the world for world-class recreation, hunting, and sport and commercial salmon fishing. To protect this national treasure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to restore protections to more than 9 million acres of roadless areas in the Tongass and end large-scale old-growth logging in America’s largest national forest.
Photo credit: Daniel Dietrich/DanielDietrichPhotography.com
ARCTIC OCEAN: THE BEAUFORT AND CHUKCHI SEAS
The Beaufort, Chukchi and Northern Bering seas provide habitat for a variety of irreplaceable wildlife, are central to the life and food security for coastal communities, and play a key role in regulating the world’s climate. Offshore oil and gas activities create significant risk to this important and fragile ecosystem and the coastal communities that have depended on it for millennia. The remoteness and unique characteristics of the Arctic marine environment make resource extraction particularly difficult and dangerous, making new leasing unwise in Arctic waters.
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST
More than 1 million people visit the Chugach annually from all over the world; however, it is local Alaskans — especially in and around Anchorage — who really utilize what the Chugach has to offer. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Chugach serves as the “backyard” for half of Alaska’s residents.
Photo credit: Debbie S. Miller
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it has denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, determining that “the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines” and concluding that “the proposed project is contrary to the public interest." The Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska boasts the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery that supports thousands of jobs. Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country, spoke out in opposition to this ill-conceived project.