Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group

Caribou working group members 2014

The mission of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group is:
"To work together to ensure the long-term conservation of the Western Arctic caribou herd and the ecosystem on which it depends, and to maintain traditional and other uses for the benefit of all people now and in the future."


The Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group is not a management or regulatory body. The purpose of the Working Group is to ensure conservation of the Western Arctic caribou herd, safeguard the spiritual and cultural well-being of Alaska Natives and the interests of all users of the herd, and to integrate indigenous knowledge with Western Science.

This working group was created in 1997. It consists of 20 voting chairs representing communities and user groups dependent on the Western Arctic caribou herd.  Subsistence hunters from rural villages, sport hunters, conservationists, hunting guides, reindeer herders and hunter transporters are represented.  All have a stake in the conservation and management of the herd, and all share in decision-making.

Agencies which provide support for the group, but are not voting members: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.


The next meeting of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group will be held December 14-15, 2016 in Anchorage, AK. The agenda and more information will be available closer to the meeting date. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

A draft summary of the December 2015 WACH Working Group meeting is available HERE. The summary will be finalized after it is approved by the Working Group at the 2016 meeting. 


The Working Group published a management plan in 2011 to guide management of the herd. 
View that document here. 
*In December 2015, the Working Group approved a correction to Table 1 in the management plan (p. 17 in the plan). The corrected table is available HERE.

The Working Group's annual newsletter, Caribou Trails, is distributed throughout the region. Find links to past editions on our "news and notes" page.