USFWS
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Alaska Region   

Icon of Blue Goose Compass. 
      Click compass to view Refuge map.

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Below are parts of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) that pertain to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This partial text is also available in PDF format (33 kb file) (PDF information).

Original establishment of the Refuge (Range) in 1960.

Overview of Refuge purposes at the time of establishment and as expanded in 1980.

Entire text of ANILCA


Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Public Law 96-487 (94 Stat. 2371)
December 2, 1980
96th Congress

An Act

To provide for the designation and conservation of certain public lands in the State of Alaska, including the designation of units of the National Park, National Wildlife Refuge, National Forest, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the "Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act".

[...]

TITLE 1-PURPOSES, DEFINITIONS, AND MAPS

PURPOSES

Sec. 101 (a) In order to preserve for the benefit, use, education, and inspiration of present and future generations certain lands and waters in the State of Alaska that contain nationally significant natural, scenic, historic, archeological, geological, scientific, wilderness, cultural, recreational, and wildlife values, the units described in the following titles are hereby established.

(b) It is the intent of Congress in this Act to preserve unrivaled scenic and geological values associated with natural landscapes; to provide for the maintenance of sound populations of, and habitat for, wildlife species of inestimable value to the citizens of Alaska and the Nation, including those species dependent on vast relatively undeveloped areas; to preserve in their natural state extensive unaltered arctic tundra, boreal forest, and coastal rainforest ecosystems; to protect the resources related to subsistence needs; to protect and preserve historic and archeological sites, rivers, and lands, and to preserve wilderness resource values and related recreational opportunities including but not limited to hiking, canoeing, fishing, and sport hunting, within large arctic and subarctic wildlands and on freeflowing rivers; and to maintain opportunities for scientific research and undisturbed ecosystems.

(c) It is further the intent and purpose of this Act consistent with management of fish and wildlife in accordance with recognized scientific principles and the purposes for which each conservation system unit is established, designated, or expanded by or pursuant to this Act, to provide the opportunity for rural residents engaged in a subsistence way of life to continue to do so.

(d) This Act provides sufficient protection for the national interest in the scenic, natural, cultural and environmental values on the public lands in Alaska, and at the same time provides adequate opportunity for satisfaction of the economic and social needs of the State of Alaska and its people; accordingly, the designation and disposition of the public lands in Alaska pursuant to this Act are found to represent a proper balance between the reservation of national conservation system units and those public lands necessary and appropriate for more intensive use and disposition, and thus Congress believes that the need for future legislation designating new conservation system units, new national conservation areas, or new national recreation areas, has been obviated thereby.

[...]

TITLE III-NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 301. For the purposes of this title-

(1) The term "existing", if used in referring to any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the State, means the unit as it existed on the day before the date of enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act except as specifically modified by sections 12(b)(1) of Public Law 94-204 and section 1432(c) of this Act.

(2) The term "refuge" means-

(A) any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System established by section 302 or 303 of this Act;

(B) any existing unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska not included within any unit referred to in subparagraph (A);

(C) any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System established in Alaska after the date of the enactment of this Act; or

(D) any addition to any unit described in subparagraphs (A), (B), or (C) above.

[...]

ADDITIONS TO EXISTING REFUGES

Sec. 303. The following areas, consisting of existing refuges and the additions made thereto, are established or redesignated as units of the National Wildlife Refuge System:

[...]

(2) ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.-(A) The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge shall consist of the existing Arctic National Wildlife Range including lands, waters, and interests, and whatever submerged lands, if any, were retained in Federal ownership at the time of statehood and an addition of approximately nine million one hundred and sixty thousand acres of public lands, as generally depicted on a map entitled "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge", dated August 1980.

(B) The purposes for which the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is established and shall be managed include-

(i) to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity including, but not limited to, the Porcupine caribou herd (including participation in coordinated ecological studies and management of this herd and the Western Arctic caribou herd), polar bears, grizzly bears, muskox, Dall sheep, wolves, wolverines, snow geese, peregrine falcons and other migratory birds and Arctic char [note in 2001- now mostly called Dolly Varden] and grayling;

(ii) to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats;

(iii) to provide, in a manner consistent with the purposes set forth in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents; and

(iv) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable and in a manner consistent with the purposes set forth in paragraph (i), water quality and necessary water quantity within the refuge.

[...]

ADMINISTRATION OF REFUGES

Sec. 304. (a) Each refuge shall be administered by the Secretary, subject to valid existing rights, in accordance with the laws governing the administration of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and this Act.

(b) In applying section 4(d) of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd) with respect to each refuge, the Secretary may not permit any use, or grant easements for any purpose described in such section 4(d) unless such use (including but not limited to any oil and gas leasing permitted under paragraph (2)) or purpose is compatible with the purposes of the Refuge. The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations and impose such terms and conditions as may be necessary and appropriate to ensure that activities carried out under any use or easement granted under any authority are so compatible.

(c) All public lands (including whatever submerged lands, if any, beneath navigable waters of the United States (as that term is defined in section 1301(a) of title 43, United States Code) were retained in Federal ownership at the time of statehood) in each National Wildlife Refuge and any other National Wildlife Refuge System unit in Alaska are hereby withdrawn, subject to valid existing rights, from future selections by the State of Alaska and Native Corporations, from all forms of appropriation or disposal under the public land laws, including location, entry and patent under the mining laws but not from operation of mineral leasing laws.

[...]

(f)(1) The Secretary is authorized to enter into cooperative management agreements with any Native Corporation, the State, any political subdivision of the State, or any other person owning or occupying land which is located within, or adjacent or near to, any national wildlife refuge. Each cooperative management agreement (hereinafter in this section referred to as an "agreement") shall provide that the land subject to the agreement shall be managed by the owner or occupant in a manner compatible with the major purposes of the refuge to which such land pertains including the opportunity for continuation of subsistence uses by local rural residents.

(2) Each agreement shall-

A) set forth such uses of the land subject to the agreement which are compatible with the management goals set forth in subsection (f)(1);

(B) permit the Secretary reasonable access to such land for purposes relating to the administration of the refuge and to carry out the obligations of the Secretary under the agreement;

(C) permit reasonable access to such land by officers of the State for the purposes of conserving fish and wildlife;

(D) set forth those services or other consideration which the Secretary agrees to provide the owner or occupant in return for the owner or occupant entering into the agreement, which services may include technical and other assistance with respect to fire control, trespass control, law enforcement, resource and land use planning, the conserving of fish and wildlife and the protection, maintenance and enhancement of any special values of the land subject to the agreement;

(E) set forth such additional terms and conditions as the Secretary and the owner or occupant may agree to as being necessary and appropriate to carry out the management goals as set forth in subsection (f)(1); and

(F) specify the effective period of the agreement.

(g)(1) The Secretary shall prepare, and from time to time, revise, a comprehensive conservation plan (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as the "plan") for each refuge.

(2) Before developing a plan for each refuge the Secretary shall identify and describe-

(A) the populations and habitats of the fish and wildlife resources of the refuge;

(B) the special values of the refuge, as well as any other archeological, cultural, ecological, geological, historical, paleontological, scenic, or wilderness value of the refuge;

(C) areas within the refuge that are suitable for use as administrative sites or visitor facilities, or for visitor services, as provided for in sections 1305 and 1306 of this Act;

(D) present and potential requirements for access with respect to the refuge, as provided for in title XI; and

(E) significant problems which may adversely affect the populations and habitats of fish and wildlife identified and described under subparagraph (A).

(3) Each plan shall-

(A) be based upon the identifications and descriptions required to be made under paragraph (2)--

(i) designate areas within the refuge according to their respective resources and values;

(ii) specify the programs for conserving fish and wildlife and the programs relating to maintaining the values referred to in paragraph (2)(B), proposed to be implemented within each such area; and

(iii) specify the uses within each such area which may be compatible with the major purposes of the refuge; and

(B) set forth those opportunities which will be provided within the refuge for fish and wildlife-oriented recreation, ecological research, environmental education and interpretation of refuge resources and values, if such recreation, research, education, and interpretation is compatible with the purposes of the refuge.

[...]

PRIOR AUTHORITIES

Sec. 305. All proclamations, Executive orders, public land orders, and other administrative actions in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act with respect to units of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the State shall remain in force and effect except to the extent that they are inconsistent with this Act or the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and, in any case, the provisions of such Acts shall prevail. All land within the boundaries described or depicted in any such action shall, if the unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System concerned is incorporated within any refuge established or redesignated by or described in section 302 or 303, be included within such refuge. All funds available on such date of enactment for administration of any refuge shall remain available for the administration of such refuge.

SPECIAL STUDY

Sec. 306. (a) The Congress finds that the barren-ground caribou are a migratory species deserving of careful study and special protection, and that the Western Arctic and the Porcupine herds of such caribou are of national and international significance.

(b) The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct, and the Governor of Alaska is urged to cooperate with the Secretary in conducting, an ecological study of the barren-ground caribou herds north of the Yukon River and the herds that have been known to migrate between the United States and Canada, including, but not limited to, a determination of the seasonal migration patterns, reproduction and mortality rates, composition and age structure, behavioral characteristics, habitats (including but not limited to calving, feeding, summering and wintering areas, and key migration routes) that are critical to their natural stability and productivity and the effects on the herds of development by man, predation, and disease. In conducting this study the Secretary shall review the experience of other Arctic circumpolar countries with caribou and is authorized to enter into such contracts as he deems necessary to carry out portions or all of this study.

[...]

TITLE VI-NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM

[...]

PART B- WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS WITHIN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM

ADDITIONS

Sec. 602. DESIGNATION.-Section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)), is further amended by adding the following new paragraphs:

[...]

"(39) IVISHAK, ALASKA.-That portion from its source, including all headwaters and an unnamed tributary from Porcupine Lake within the boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Range; to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior.

[...]

"(42) SHEENJEK, ALASKA.-The segment within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior.

"(43) WIND, ALASKA.-That portion from its source, including all headwaters and one unnamed tributary in township 13 south, within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior".

[...]

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 605. (a) Rivers in paragraphs (25) through (37) in units of the National Park System, and (38) through (43) in units of the National Wildlife Refuge System are hereby classified and designated and shall be administered as wild rivers pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

[...]

TITLE VII-NATIONAL WILDERNESS PRESERVATION SYSTEM

[...]

DESIGNATION OF WILDERNESS WITHIN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM

Sec. 702. In accordance with subsection 3(c) of the Wilderness Act (78 Stat. 892), the public lands within the boundaries depicted as "Proposed Wilderness" on the maps referred to in sections 302 and 303 of this Act or the maps specified below are hereby designated as wilderness, with the nomenclature and approximate acreage as indicated below:

[...]

(3) Arctic Wildlife Refuge Wilderness of approximately 8 million acres as generally depicted on a map entitled "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" dated August 1980;

[...]

TITLE X-FEDERAL NORTH SLOPE LANDS STUDIES, OIL AND GAS LEASING PROGRAM AND MINERAL ASSESSMENTS

[...]

ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE COASTAL PLAIN RESOURCE ASSESSMENT

Sec. 1002. (a) PURPOSE-The purpose of this section is to provide for a comprehensive and continuing inventory and assessment of the fish and wildlife resources of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; an analysis of the impacts of oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and to authorize exploratory activity within the coastal plain in a manner that avoids significant adverse effects on the fish and wildlife and other resources.

(b) DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section-

(1) The term "coastal plain" means that area identified as such in the map entitled "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge", dated August 1980.

(2) The term "exploratory activity" means surface geological exploration or seismic exploration, or both, for oil and gas within the coastal plain.

(c) BASELINE STUDY.-The Secretary, in consultation with the Governor of the State, Native Village and Regional Corporations, and the North Slope Borough within the study area and interested persons, shall conduct a continuing study of the fish and wildlife (with special emphasis on caribou, wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears, migratory waterfowl, musk oxen, and polar bears) of the coastal plain and their habitat. In conducting the study, the Secretary shall-

(A) assess the size, range, and distribution of the populations of the fish and wildlife;

(B) determine the extent, location and carrying capacity of the habitats of the fish and wildlife;

(C) assess the impacts of human activities and natural processes on the fish and wildlife and their habitats;

(D) analyze the potential impacts of oil and gas exploration, development, and production on such wildlife and habitats; and

(E) analyze the potential effects of such activities on the culture and lifestyle (including subsistence) of affected Native and other people. Within eighteen months after the enactment date of this Act, the Secretary shall publish the results of the study as of that date and shall thereafter publish such revisions thereto as are appropriate as new information is obtained.

(d) GUIDELINES.-(1) Within two years after the enactment date of this Act, the Secretary shall by regulation establish initial guidelines governing the carrying out of exploratory activities. The guidelines shall be based upon the results of the study required under subsection (c) and such other information as may be available to the Secretary. The guidelines shall include such prohibitions, restrictions, and conditions on the carrying out of exploratory activities as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to ensure that exploratory activities do not significantly adversely affect the fish and wildlife, their habitats, or the environment, including, but not limited to-

(A) a prohibition on carrying out of exploratory activity during caribou calving and immediate post-calving seasons or during any other period in which human activity may have adverse effects;

(B) temporary or permanent closing of appropriate areas to such activity;

(C) specification of the support facilities, equipment and related manpower that is appropriate in connection with exploratory activity; and

(D) requirements that exploratory activities be coordinated in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary duplication.

(2) The initial guidelines prescribed by the Secretary to implement this subsection shall be accompanied by an environmental impact statement on exploratory activities. The initial guidelines shall thereafter be revised to reflect changes made in the baseline study and other appropriate information made available to the Secretary.

(e) EXPLORATION PLANS.-(1) After the initial guidelines are prescribed under subsection (d), any person including the United States Geological Survey may submit one or more plans for exploratory activity (hereinafter in this section referred to as "exploration plans") to the Secretary for approval. An exploration plan must set forth such information as the Secretary may require in order to determine whether the plan is consistent with the guidelines, including, but not limited to-

(A) a description and schedule of the exploratory activity proposed to be undertaken;

(B) a description of the equipment, facilities, and related manpower that would be used in carrying out the activity;

(C) the area in which the activity would be undertaken; and

(D) a statement of the anticipated effects that the activity may have on fish and wildlife, their habitats and the environment.

(2) Upon receiving any exploration plan for approval, the Secretary shall promptly publish notice of the application and the text of the plan in the Federal Register and newspapers of general circulation in the State. The Secretary shall determine, within one hundred and twenty days after any plan is submitted for approval, if the plan is consistent with the guidelines established under subsection (d). If the Secretary determines that the plan is so consistent, he shall approve the plan; except that no plan shall be approved during the two-year period following the date of enactment of this Act. Before making the determination, the Secretary shall hold at least one public hearing in the State for purposes of receiving the comments and views of the public on the plan. The Secretary shall not approve of any plan submitted by the United States Geological Survey unless he determines that (1) no other person has submitted a plan for the area involved which meets established guidelines and (2) that information which would be obtained is needed to make an adequate report under subsection (h). The Secretary, as a condition of approval of any plan under this section-

(A) may require that such modifications be made to the plan as he considers necessary and appropriate to make it consistent with the guidelines;

(B) shall require that all data and information (including processed, analyzed and interpreted information) obtained as a result of carrying out the plan shall be submitted to the Secretary; and

(C) shall make such data and information available to the public except that any processed, analyzed and interpreted data or information shall be held confidential by the Secretary for a period of not less than two years following any lease sale including the area from which the information was obtained.

"and : Provided, That the Secretary shall prohibit by regulation any person who obtains access to such data and information from the Secretary or from any person other than a permittee from participation in any lease sale which includes the areas from which the information was obtained and from any commercial use of the information. The Secretary shall require that any permittee shall make available such data to any person at fair cost". [amended by P.L. 97-394]

[...]

(h) REPORT TO CONGRESS.-Not earlier than five years after the enactment date of this Act and not later than five years and nine months after such date, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress [note in 2001 - this is the 1987 Coastal Plain Resource Assessment (pdf version)] a report containing-

(1) the identification by means other than drilling of exploratory wells of those areas within the coastal plain that have oil and gas production potential and estimate of the volume of the oil and gas concerned;

(2) the description of the fish and wildlife, their habitats, and other resources that are within the areas identified under paragraph (1);

(3) an evaluation of the adverse effects that the carrying out of further exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and gas within such areas will have on the resources referred to in paragraph (2);

(4) a description of how such oil and gas, if produced within such area, may be transported to processing facilities;

(5) an evaluation of how such oil and gas relates to the national need for additional domestic sources of oil and gas; and

(6) the recommendations of the Secretary with respect to whether further exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and gas within the coastal plain should be permitted and, if so, what additional legal authority is necessary to ensure that the adverse effects of such activities on fish and wildlife, their habitats, and other resources are avoided or minimized.

(i) EFFECT OF OTHER LAWS.-Until otherwise provided for in law enacted after the enactment date of this Act, all public lands within the coastal plain are withdrawn from all forms of entry or appropriation under the mining laws, and from operation of the mineral leasing laws, of the United States.

PROHIBITION ON DEVELOPMENT

Sec. 1003. Production of oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited and no leasing or other development leading to production of oil and gas from the range shall be undertaken until authorized by an Act of Congress.

WILDERNESS PORTION OF STUDY

Sec. 1004. (a) As part of the study, the Secretary shall review the suitability or nonsuitability for preservation as wilderness of the Federal lands described in section 1001 and report his findings to the President.

(b) The President shall advise the Senate and House of Representatives of his recommendations with respect to the designation of the area or any part thereof as wilderness together with a map thereof and a definition of its boundaries.

(c) Subject to valid existing rights and the provisions of section 1002 of this Act, the wilderness study area designated by this section shall, until Congress determines otherwise, be administered by the Secretary so as to maintain presently existing wilderness character and potential for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System. Already established uses may be permitted to continue, subject to such restrictions as the Secretary deems desirable, in the manner and degree in which the same were being conducted on the date of enactment of this Act.

WILDLIFE RESOURCES PORTION OF STUDY

Sec. 1005. The Secretary shall work closely with the State of Alaska and Native Village and Regional Corporations in evaluating the impact of oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation and other human activities on the wildlife resources of these lands, including impacts on the Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds, polar bear, muskox, grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine, seabirds, shore birds, and migratory waterfowl. In addition the Secretary shall consult with the appropriate agencies of the Government of Canada in evaluating such impacts particularly with respect to the Porcupine caribou herd.

[...]


June 10, 2009