Refuge Establishment

Upper Selawik River

Selawik National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).  Many refuges and national parks in Alaska were created under this legislation.  The Selawik River valley and Kobuk River delta were set aside as a National Wildlife Refuge due to the outstanding and important wildlife habitat of this area.

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act outlined these four primary purposes for the Selawik Refuge:

i. To conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity including, but not limited to, the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, waterfowl, shorebirds and other migratory birds, salmon, and sheefish;
ii. To fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats;
iii. To provide the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents; and
iv. To ensure water quality and necessary water quantity within the refuge.