Arctic Refuge

protects wildlife, wilderness and recreational values, conserves natural diversity, and provides opportunities for subsistence uses.

Refuge Highlights

Celebrating Magnificent Rivers


Three Arctic Refuge rivers are so magnificent they’ve been designated for special protections under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, and four other Arctic Refuge rivers have been recommended for inclusion. Is that worth celebrating? You bet it is. Fifty years ago, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act created a process to protect free-flowing waterways having outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values. Throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System, 12 rivers have been designated with this protection. That means Arctic Refuge supports a quarter or more of all these exceptional rivers. Join us in 2018 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers acts. Over the next two years, the Find Your Way Campaign (#FindYourWay) invites visitors from all backgrounds to explore America’s trails and rivers.

Learn more about the Find Your Way Campaign

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: The First 50, An Historic Symposium

"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 50th Anniversary Historic Symposium" was presented in 2011, and the Symposium Transactions are now available here. For three days symposium participants explored and discussed the history, science, and uniqueness of Arctic Refuge. Highlights included a fascinating conversation with Arctic refuge managers, including the legendary Ave Thayer; the Voices of the South’s play "Wild Legacy," with George Schaller and Bob Krear, two characters in the play, actually in the audience; a screening of the film "America’s Wildest Refuge: Discovering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;" and a visit from Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States. The Symposium Transactions capture the spirit and scholarship of this seminal event.

Transactions for Arctic Refuge 50th Symposium

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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