Thank the Biden administration for cancelling the remaining oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!!

Photo credit: Kiliii Yuyan

Alaska Wilderness League works to ensure that Alaska's wild landscapes endure to support vibrant communities and abundant wildlife for generations to come.


Storytelling on the Kuskokwim with Polly Andrews

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.

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Protections for America’s Arctic: What You Need to Know

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…

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Press Release: Biden’s Proposed Actions for America’s Arctic Recognize Alaska’s Conservation, Climate Potential

Today, 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. These announcements are an essential step toward addressing the threat of oil and gas development across the Arctic — a region that provides some of our nation’s last remaining opportunities to protect ecosystems at a landscape level.

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What the Heck is AIDEA

The inside scoop on a floundering, publicly-funded Alaska corporation The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority — known as AIDEA — was created in 1967 and is a public corporation of the State of Alaska with a supposed mission to, “provide financing for Alaska’s business community, to expand the economy of the state, and to…

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100+ Organizations and Businesses Call on President Biden and Secretary Haaland to Realize Opportunities for Conservation and Our Climate in America’s Arctic

Today, more than 100 organizations and businesses sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary Haaland outlining the opportunities the administration has to take bold action in America’s Arctic.

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Court Upholds Suspending Oil & Gas Leases in Arctic Refuge, Dismisses Claims from AIDEA 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  August 8, 2023  Contact: Aileo Weinmann |    Court Upholds Suspending Oil & Gas Leases in Arctic Refuge, Dismisses Claims from AIDEA “We celebrate the court’s decision because it confirms the right of President Biden and the Department of the Interior to correct the Trump administration’s mistakes, restoring thoughtful decision-making that honors the…

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Storytelling on the Kuskokwim: An Update from Polly Andrews 

In fall 2022, Alaska Wilderness League was pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of its Adam Kolton Alaska Storytelling Grant: Polly Andrews. Since that time, Polly has remained busy and recently offered an update to the League community, including supporters of the Adam Kolton Memorial Fund whose donations make this grant award possible.   The Adam…

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Press Release: GOP Appropriations Bill for Department of Interior Targets Fossil-Fuel Extraction in Alaska, States

Today, Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced an appropriations bill that would recklessly expedite fossil-fuel extraction on America’s public lands and waters in Alaska and other states.  

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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



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.



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/



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.



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

Ben.Knight.sock_2_Bristol Bay Website front page image


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.