In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) redesignated the Refuge and added a number of new purposes. Purpose (iii) says the Arctic Refuge will "provide the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents."

Simply stated, subsistence means living off the land and generally includes the harvest of plants, fish, and wildlife for food, clothing, and/or shelter. Laws, such as ANILCA, protect traditional and customary subsistence activities and define who can legally participate.

For more information about subsistence, please visit