From the US Fish and Wildlife Service: The “Arctic National Wildlife Range was established in 1960 to preserve unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values. In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) re-designated the Range as part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and provided four purposes that guide management of the entire Refuge: to conserve animals and plants in their natural diversity, ensure a place for hunting and gathering activities, protect water quality and quantity, and fulfill international wildlife treaty obligations.”
Gwich’in and Iñupiaq people have lived and traveled within the boundaries of the Arctic Refuge for millennia and continue to do so today. The 19.3 million acre Arctic Refuge is the US’ largest National Wildlife Refuge and contains 8 million acres of designated wilderness. In addition to the Alaska Native people who live here, the Refuge is home to the porcupine caribou herd, black, brown and polar bears, musk oxen, moose, wolves, Dall’s sheep and many other species.