Photo credit: © Florian Schulz Productions



Alaska Wilderness League was founded 30 years ago, in March 1993. Over our rich history, the League has been dedicated to working full time in our nation’s capital to protect Alaska’s most valuable lands and waters from countless threats. Having worked at the League for nearly 17 years, I am proud of how we have maintained our commitment to leverage every dollar toward achieving our mission. Each donation and grant helps us to do the work necessary to protect Alaska’s wild places – for now and into the future. In January 2023, I was honored to step into the role of executive director for the League. I feel lucky to lead such an amazing team dedicated to the legacy of the League, to our current mission, and to honoring your collective support for our conservation goals. Our work is possible because of your support.

In this report, you will see how your contributions secured progress toward our strategic plan goals for the Biden administration. Alaska remains at risk from aggressive oil and gas development, new mining, roadbuilding, and large-scale clear-cutting of mature and old-growth trees. Compounding these threats are the dire impacts of the climate crisis, which is affecting Alaska more than any other state. Your direct support helped us address these threats by fighting back against new oil and gas development across the Arctic, while advancing conservation policies aimed at providing durable protections for Alaska’s most vulnerable places. We have done this work by bringing together strong coalitions, building connections, and engaging our many partners on the path to securing strong wins for Alaska’s wildest places.

With your support in 2022, we continued to elevate to the national stage opposition to development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We amplified the fight to stop the massive Willow oil and gas development project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and we made significant progress toward reinstating roadless protections in the Tongass National Forest. Today, thanks to your donations, we are working to challenge the current administration to take even more aggressive action to address climate change, safeguard biodiversity and minimize habitat loss across Alaska. Your contributions have also enabled us to secure national and international support for Alaska’s landscapes, energizing hundreds of thousands to weigh in during public comment periods, speak out, and join in the fight.

Through our strong and diverse coalition work, the voices of our Indigenous allies were brought to the forefront, providing guidance and leadership to our work. We worked to honor the fight to protect the culture and way of life for Alaska Native frontline communities, bringing together outdoor adventurers, athletes, veterans, faith leaders and others to provide help and support. We stand in solidarity with these Indigenous leaders in our difficult work together. And we will continue the fight to protect Alaska’s globally important wild landscapes.

Thank you for being part of the Alaska Wilderness League family, and for your unwavering dedication to defend our last great wild places, and the people and wildlife who depend on them!

Thank you,

Kristen Miller
Executive Director


Alaska Wilderness League remained busy throughout 2022. Working with our partners, members and supporters in Washington, D.C. and beyond, the League demonstrated broad support for durable protections across Alaska. Together, we watched films and heard from researchers, storytellers, and community members that remind us why these places are so special, and in November 2022, we celebrated the inaugural recipient of the Adam Kolton Alaska Storytelling Grant Award.

We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our members that made this work possible.
Read on for details related to specific campaigns.


The administration’s suspension of all activity surrounding Arctic Refuge oil and gas leases remains in place, as implemented on President Biden’s first day in office. While we celebrated the climate progress represented by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we were disappointed that a repeal of Arctic Refuge oil and gas leases was not included in the final version. We continue to wait on the Coastal Plain Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Leasing Program review, a public process required to take place before the second legislatively- mandated lease sale. However, we are hopeful after seeing all oil companies walk away from their leases in the Refuge, leaving only a state-owned development corporation as the sole lease- holder in the coastal plain. The League will continue to participate in this process and offer opportunities for our supporters to make their voices heard. We also continue to see successes in corporate work, as major banks and insurance companies refuse to support oil drilling in the Arctic – 17 international insurers and 29 global banks (including all six major U.S. banks and all five major Canadian banks) now have policies against covering new oil and gas projects in the coastal plain. In 2022, we also continued showcasing our abundant love for the Arctic through several Geography of Hope episodes: A Thousand Trails Home with Seth Kantner, Polar Bears on the Edge with Steven Kazlowski, and Finding True North with Molly Rettig.

Photo credit: Alaska Wilderness League Staff


In 2022, we continued to press for protections to mature and old-growth trees that provide invaluable habitat, cultural resources, and climate mitigation through carbon removal and storage. The Biden administration continued to review the Tongass Roadless Rule exemption, which not only put us on track for an 2023 full restoration of the Roadless Rule in Alaska, but also included an immediate phase out of old-growth logging with very limited exceptions across the forest, a new commitment to Tribal consultation, and a $25-million investment in alternative economic development for the region. Alaska Wilderness League rallied support for Tongass Roadless comments, generating more than 10,000 public comments from our supporters that were delivered to federal agencies. We also helped to organize a webinar highlighting the importance of the Tongass under a changing climate, which included Indigenous, agency, and conservation voices. We look forward to working with our partners in Southeast Alaska and around the country as we work to make durable, holistic protections a reality for the Tongass, and support the ongoing work of the Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy (SASS).

Photo credit: Alaska Wilderness League Staff


On President Biden’s first day in office, he took initial action to suspend oil and gas leasing on public lands, including in the Reserve, and committed to reviewing the massive Willow oil and gas development plan. In the summer of 2022, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to analyze the impacts of ConocoPhillips’ Willow project, opening a public process in which the League and our partners expressed strong concerns about the climate and environmental impacts of the massive project during BLM’s. This effort – for which League members showed up in full force – included submitting thousands of public comments, hosting lobby days in the district, social media days of action, and connecting callers to the White House.

Photo credit: Kiliii Yuyan


In fall 2022, the League helped our supporters participate in public scoping periods regarding ocean energy policy, “D1” land withdrawals throughout Alaska – impacting vast swaths of BLM-managed lands— and the EIS for an industrial access road to the Ambler mining district, during which we collected over 11,000 signatures on our No Road to Ambler petition. Outside of administrative engagement, efforts to stop the proposed Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay from moving forward continued, ensuring that the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery – that is critical for subsistence and commercial uses – remains intact.

Photo credit: © Florian Schulz Productions


Our Anchorage office plays a big role to ensure that Alaskans are aware of national conservation efforts that can provide opportunities to protect the lands and waters they call home, while we also make certain that national groups are aware of the needs and interests of Alaskans.

Specific work during the past year included:

  • Elevating the Voices of Alaskans.. As the pandemic started to subside, we had the ability to host and support several fly-ins, including one that brought Gwich’in leaders to Washington, D.C. during a final push to urge Congress to pass Arctic Refuge protections through budget reconciliation.
  • America the Beautiful. Our team in Alaska works closely with groups on the ground in-state, to identify locally driven conservation efforts that make sense to elevate nationally as the Biden administration increases focus on conserving lands and waters during the next two years.
  • Keeping an Eye on Congress. Alaska’s delegation often seeks to privatize public lands through legislation, and these bills can have unintended impacts on outdoor recreation businesses or conservation units alike. The League’s in-state team analyzes and tracks legislative proposals, so that we can engage during the legislative process to prevent damage to Alaska’s lands and waters.
  • Helping Alaska- Based Groups Navigate Washington, D.C. . Whether it’s providing background support for rallies outside the White House or through setting up meetings with administrative leaders, our partners in Alaska know they can rely on us when they want to influence federal decision-makers.

In the year ahead, we look forward to more in-person gatherings in-state, including coalition meetings that we organize to forge stronger relationships and concoct strategy. These meetings are critical now, as President Biden has less than two years remaining in his first term in the White House.

Photo credit: © Florian Schulz Productions


Throughout 2022 Alaska Wilderness League continued to elevate the voices of our partners and allies and make sure decision-makers in Washington, DC heard loud and clear from as broad an audience as possible. We started to hold in-person events again and maintained digital opportunities for engagement, continuing to create opportunities across the country.

A Virtual Rally for the Tongass National Forest was a Great Success! The virtual “Rally for the Tongass” held on January 20 was a wonderful showcase of the beauty, diversity, economic vitality and cultural vibrancy of the Tongass, including addresses from Indigenous and political leaders, talks from Southeast Alaskan filmmakers, and a fun performance by the rock band Portugal. The Man. The rally highlighted all the reasons reinstating the Roadless Rule protection in the Tongass is critical.

Washington, D.C. Fly-ins Resumed! In mid-May, representatives of the Gwich’in Nation including Tribal Chiefs, Elders, Tribal youth and appointed designees traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the Biden administration and members of Congress. The goal: To discuss a path forward to repeal the oil and gas drilling program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Overall, the fly-in was a great success, as the League helped set up and coordinate meetings for the leaders with several Senate and House offices, as well as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Brenda Mallory and White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy.

#StopWillow. In February 2022, the court ordered re-do of ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil and gas plan began, and the League was all in. We participated in the first public comment period by leading the effort to garner nearly 200,000 public comments and led a sign on letter that had over 140 signers. The next step happened over the summer where we saw over 250,000 individuals opposed to Willow participate in public-comment meetings, outnumbering pro-oil voices at every forum the Bureau of Land Management held. During that process more than 160 organizations joined in the opposition to Willow via a national letter, adding to a growing national movement calling for the Biden administration to reject the proposed Willow project and prioritize our climate goals.

Photo credit: Daniel Dietrich Photography /

You've helped us so much on this journey, now help us forge the path ahead

We have seen that even with a more environmentally focused administration, the push does not stop to develop and extract from Alaska’s wild lands. Public input continues to be critical to the progress we have made protecting and elevating the importance of wild landscapes across Alaska, especially the Arctic Refuge, Western Arctic, Bristol Bay and the Tongass National Forest. Read below to learn how you can be ready to submit more public comments and letters-to-the-editor, join virtual district meetings and participate in Geography of Hope sessions that highlight special areas across Alaska.


Enjoy our fall, winter and spring collection of virtual events and experiences connecting you to writers, experts, filmmakers and other wild Alaska advocates in a celebration of the lands, waters, wildlife and cultures we all care so deeply about. You can find our complete Geography of Hope playlist on our website or on YouTube, and don't forget to subscribe to our channel while you're there!

Our typically once-a-month events lift your spirits, mentally transport you to the temperate forests and tundra and majestic points in between, and seek to inspire and connect you to others who share a passion for our nation's wildest places – providing fresh energy in the fight for protection.

Make sure you know when wild Alaska, its people and its wildlife need you most, and get connected with all the personal stories, breathtaking views and mesmerizing wildlife that draw so many to its unique landscapes. Sign up here!

Visit our custom and curated toolkit for empowering tips and suggestions that help you to effectively communicate with your community and elected officials to preserve wild Alaska.

Recent Highlight


Check out our October Show Highlight: Caribou Across North America: Stories from the Land
View the show here

From the Atlantic Ocean to Alaska's coastal plain (including arctic islands, mountains, boreal forests, and open tundra), Sue Morse has tracked, studied and photographed caribou and their remarkable diversity of habitats for over 15 years. Sue’s stories are illustrated with her own photos that she has taken throughout some of the most remote habitats in North America, where she has patiently endeavored to get close to caribou and their wild neighbors including polar bears, musk oxen, arctic foxes, ptarmigan and wolves.

Her stories share a mix of humor, adventure and advocacy, engaging us all to contemplate the full significance of caribou and the vast wilderness landscapes these animals embody. Sue's journeys across North America culminate with her stunning photos and stories recalling multiple trips to Alaska’s wildlands. As Sue puts it, “Alaska's precious wildlands are, indeed, a vital and inspiring geography of hope that should be completely protected and cherished by us all.”

Florian 3

Photo credit: © Florian Schulz Productions


Former President Jimmy Carter,
Honorary Co-Chair
The Honorable Robert Mrazek,
Honorary Co-Chair
Tom Campion,
Chair Emeritus
Pat Pourchot,
President of the Board
Kit DesLauriers,
Vice President of the Board
Yvonne Besvold,

Midy Aponte,
Toni Armstrong
Steve Barker
Chad Brown
Ellen Ferguson
Debbie S. Miller
Greg Moga
Brian O'Donnell
Jody Juneby Potts-Joseph
Amy Roberts
John Sterling


In 2022 we welcomed to the team Ashley Davis as our climate and justice partnerships organizer, Aileo Weinmann as our communications director and Marley Hatfield as our development associate. The team continued to grow in 2023 with the additions of Anja Semanco as our communications manager, Alex Cohen as our government affairs director and Lindsay Crowder as our Arctic campaigns director.

Learn more about the dedicated and supportive volunteers on our board, and meet the dedicated staff working at Alaska Wilderness League by visiting our staff page here.


Alaska Wilderness League Action is a 501(c)4 affiliate organization to the 501(c)3 Alaska Wilderness League. The vision of Alaska Wilderness League Action is that Alaska's wild landscapes endure to support vibrant communities and abundant wildlife. To achieve this vision, Alaska Wilderness League Action deploys citizen support to realize political change, legislative gains and accountability of Congress and the administration to protect Alaska’s wild landscapes. Find out more at


Alaska Wilderness League supports the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign (ARDC), a coalition effort led by a Steering Committee of 12 different state-based, Indigenous and national organizations that have come together to fundraise and deploy resources to restore protections to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ARDC was established in 2018 following the passage of the 2017 Tax Act that mandated oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Refuge. Alaska Wilderness League serves as a financial sponsor to ARDC and a co-chair of its Steering Committee.


At Alaska Wilderness League, we work to keep Alaska’s wildest places protected now and for generations to come. We recognize that threats to the environment have disproportionate effects on marginalized communities, and until the conservation movement is more just, equitable and inclusive of all people, we cannot truly secure a safer, healthier and more sustainable environment for future generations. We recognize the need to expand our understanding of the systems of power and oppression at play in today’s world.

A commitment to centering our work in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) is critical to our mission and effectiveness. It is imperative to build and maintain transformational relationships with our partners, broadening our base of support and making our organization an even better home for its employees.

Alaska Wilderness League had a strong year of progress in 2022 on the work we are doing to become the organization we envision – one that is more inclusive and committed to justice and lives up to our commitment to be an example for the conservation and environmental community. In 2022 this has been done through multiple actions supporting our Indigenous partners, continued staff training and uplifting partners’ voices and events.

Our commitment to JEDI includes a focus on confronting our own biases and privileges — both organizational and personal — and actively working to dismantle them. One of the opportunities is to better align Alaska conservation with the cause of Indigenous rights and social justice. Indeed, many of our Indigenous partners and allies are among the most compelling and important leaders in the fight to transition away from fossil fuels, for respecting the land and for traditional Native knowledge and expertise.

This commitment to justice is inseparable from a commitment to developing more meaningful allyship with a diversity of partners and the communities most impacted by our work. It is a promise to listen, learn and grow. It is a promise to stand for, support and speak up for the broader causes of justice and equality. Continually expanding our awareness of systems of power and oppression will help us reimagine conservation as a tool for justice and advocate for Alaska’s public lands with a heightened focus on the intersectionality of climate change and human rights.

This is a journey and although we’ve made progress along this path, we do know that there is much more that needs to be done – we are committed to continuing to prioritize the work of becoming better allies.

This commitment to justice is inseparable from a commitment to developing more meaningful allyship with a diversity of partners and the communities most impacted by our work. It is a promise to listen, learn and grow. It is a promise to stand for, support and speak up for the broader causes of justice and equality. Continually expanding our awareness of systems of power and oppression will help us reimagine conservation as a tool for justice and advocate for Alaska’s public lands with a heightened focus on the intersectionality of climate change and human rights.

This is a journey and although we’ve made progress along this path, we do know that there is much more that needs to be done – we are committed to continuing to prioritize the work of becoming better allies.

Photo credit: Lincoln Else


FY22 Annual Report Combined Expenses & Revenue

Total Expenses—$3,355,206
Total Program Expenses—$2,602,993 (78%)

Total Revenue—$4,022,006

Change in Net Assets—$666,800 • Net Assets, Beginning of Year—$3,986,858 •
Net Assets, End of Year—$4,653,658

Revenue and expenses reflected in this report occurred between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

Photo credit: Richard Spener /


The Wild Giving Society is a group of dedicated members who lead the effort to preserve the Alaska wilderness. The support from this group of incredible allies in 2022 allowed the League to continue to protect Alaska’s wildest places. To learn more and to join this inspirational group of members, please visit

$50,000 and above
Tom and Currie Barron*
Tom and Sonya Campion*
David and Linda Cornfield*
Ellen Ferguson*
Meredith James
The Brooks Foundation

$25,000 and above
Betsy Loyless*
Anne Mize
Mary and Greg Moga
Mary Pigott
Richard S. Spener and Toni Armstrong*

$10,000 and above
Steve and Nona Barker
David Bock
Jeffrey Brokish
Douglas and Sherry Caves
Dorothy and Bob Childers
Jeanine Delgman
Jonathan and Anne Fox
Cory Jones and Robert Coon
Susan Lubetkin
Sandra Moss
Judith Schwartz Sorrel
Ron and Eva Sher*
Wendy Tsien
Dr. Gene and Mrs. Joanne Wilhelm
Erin Younger and Ed Liebow*

$5,000 and above

Ms. Rachel Anderson and Ms. Sally G. McCoy
Kicab Castaneda-Mendez and Marta Chase*
Anne Faulkner and Robert King
Justine Frischmann
Amy and Chris Gulick*
Karyn and Jon Hartland
Tom and Kate Klein*
Chet and Carol Kolton*
Mary Petr
Marlena Renwyck and Moe Witschard
Larry Rockefeller
Don Sharaf
Sherman and Joan Silber
David Sonneborn
Gordon and Diana Tracz
Peter Van Tuyn and Ilona Bessenyey*
Judy and Jim Wagonfeld
Ira and Edgra Ringler Family Foundation*

Susan Loesser
Sylvia Lucas
Tim Mahoney
Randall May and Carol Greenstreet
George K. McLelland
Paul Meadow
Ronald D. Melin
Peter and Kathy Metcalf
Stephanie Metzger
Catherine Michaud
Debbie Miller*
Sue and John Mills
Jake Miss
Evan Mittman*
Eric F. Myers
John and Hortensia Nelson
Brian O'Donnell*
David Pease and Lynn Foxx Pease
Barbara Petersen
Kendra Porta
Clarissa Porter
Pat Pourchot and Jennifer Johnson
Deb Raehl and Mary Lee Freeman
Andrew Richardson
Jim and Gillian Rose
Robert Schlatter
Brian Schrader
Mark Schuermann
Pat E. Sharpnack
Greg Singleton
Catherine H. Smith and Peter B. Maxson
Cyrus and Joanne Spurlino
John Stamper
Carol and John Stansfield*
Michael Steffen
John Sterling
Jamie and Maia Stone
Diane Stone
James Stratton*
John and Janet Tangney
John and Carson Taylor
John A. Trotter
Melanie Trowbridge*
Walter G. Vartan*
Catherine Walker and David Fuqua
Steven and Susan Weems
Alice Weigel*
Jacquinot and Bob Weisenbach
Michael Whelan*
Suzanne H. Williams
Deborah L. Williams
Leonard Wittwer and Martha Blane
Cameron Foundation
The Scott Walker Family

*Fiscal Year 2022 giving also included a generous donation to the Adam Kolton Memorial Fund.

Adam Kolton Memorial Fund

The Adam Kolton Memorial Fund was established in memory of Alaska Wilderness League’s late director who dedicated his career to protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and led the organization from 2017 to 2021. The Fund offers a chance to honor Adam’s legacy, while also fueling the League’s work in the short-term by directing resources to protect iconic Alaska landscapes. The Fund also helped establish an exciting new initiative, the Adam Kolton Alaska Storytelling Grant Award, which was awarded to inaugural recipient, Polly Andrews, in 2022. Learn more about the award and hear directly from Polly during her acceptance of the award here.

Photo credit: Lincoln Else


444S Foundation
The Campion Foundation
The Conservation Alliance
Hugh & Jane Ferguson Foundation
Martin-Fabert Foundation
New-Land Foundation
Tortuga Foundation
True North Foundation
The Volgenau Foundation
Weeden Foundation
Wilburforce Foundation


Ignik Outdoors
The North Face
Public Lands
Traverse Alaska
Tundra Travels


The Alaska Wilderness League Leadership Council is a group of Alaska lands advocates who meet as thought leaders to advise and assist in the planning and execution of League goals. For more information including how to get involved in the Council, please contact

Marta Chase •Ken Fabert • Bruce Gitlin • Dan Johnson • Susan Lubetkin • William Meadows • Drs. Joan and Sherman Silber • Judy and Jim Wagonfeld • Erin Younger


Giving big for big landscapes helps protect Alaska’s irreplaceable treasures and unique wildlife.

Alaska Wilderness League is an independent 501(c)(3) organization (EIN: 52-1814742).