The lands and waters of the Western Arctic Reserve were unfortunately named “National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.” But they are not a playground for Big Oil. Spanning nearly 22 million acres across the western North Slope of Alaska, the Reserve is the largest single unit of public lands in the nation.
In fact, the area includes some of our nation’s most vital natural resources – millions of acres of wilderness-quality lands with critical habitat for millions of migratory birds, as well as grizzly bears, caribou, threatened polar bears, walrus, endangered beluga whales and more. The Alaska Native communities that live along the Reserve have maintained a subsistence lifestyle for thousands of years based on Reserve’s living resources.
Five areas of exceptional wildlife value have been are set aside for protection within the Reserve. Learn more with the map above, and be sure to click through from the popups to get more detailed information about each special place.