Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


Refuge Updates

Open for Public Comment: Proposed Regulation to Protect Dall Sheep

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published proposed regulations in the Federal Register to improve hunting and fishing opportunities across the National Wildlife Refuge System. Included in this broader regulation package is a proposal that would prohibit the use of domestic sheep, goats, and camelids (i.e., llamas and alpacas) on Arctic Refuge lands due to concerns about disease transmission to Dall Sheep and other wildlife. The proposed prohibition better aligns the Service with Alaska Department of Fish and Game hunting regulations that bar the use of domestic sheep and goats while hunting sheep, mountain goats, and musk oxen. We are also seeking to align with 2012 recommendations from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies that call for separating domestic sheep and goats from wild species due to potential disease transmission. The comment period is open until June 8, 2020.

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Attention Drone Users

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones) is no longer allowed for any US Fish and Wildlife Service supported or permitted use. This prohibition applies to the use of drones for commercial filming and scientific research, even if the use of drones was previously authorized via special use permit. Secretarial Order 3379, issued by Interior Secretary Bernhardt on January 29, 2020, mandates that all non-emergency UAS flights cease until further notice. UAS flights in support of emergencies, such as wildfires and search and rescue missions, will continue.

Refuge visitors contribute to Alaska’s economy

Visitors to Arctic Refuge, from across the state, the nation, and the world, contributed more than $29 million to Alaska’s local and state economies in 2017 (most recent year data is available).

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About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS