Here is how you can help protect America's Arctic today!


President Biden recently announced new protections for biodiverse landscapes in the Western Arctic (NPR-A) that will limit threats to one of our most expansive and thriving natural landscapes. These protections for a record +13 million acres of America's Western Arctic are an important step forward for America's climate commitments and the conservation of iconic wildlife and birds from around the world. With this announcement, President Biden has taken a significant step toward protecting the food security, health, and cultural traditions of Indigenous communities living in the Western Arctic - ensuring a sustainable future for both the land and the people who  live in America's Western Arctic. 

This announcement is one of the most sweeping actions by President Biden to protect America's Arctic and the communities and wildlife that call it home.

Add your name to the letter below thanking President Biden for taking action to protect America's Western Arctic, and help us call for additional durable protections for America's vital Arctic landscapes. 

Dear President Biden:

Thank you for taking decisive action to safeguard the conservation of America’s Western Arctic, including biologically critical Special Areas and landscapes vital to traditional Indigenous livelihoods and food security. Now, more than ever, America must take rapid action to meet our climate commitments. Protecting Arctic ecosystems is vital to safeguarding our biodiversity, preventing the worst impacts of climate change, and protecting the environmental health and traditions of Alaska Native communities.

WHAT'S GOING ON? | On President Biden announced a rule to increase protections for more than 13 million acres of America's Western Arctic, also known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

President Biden’s announcement helps protect some of the most biodiverse and climate-critical landscapes in the Western Arctic by bolstering protections for more than 13 million acres of federally designated Special Areas in the NPR-A from oil and gas development. This regulation helps protect the wildlife and lands that surrounding Indigenous communities have depended on for generations for subsistence hunting and gathering, as well as for traditional cultural practices. In addition, the rule provides a new process for proposing new or expanded Special Areas – allowing Tribes, local governments, and the public to weigh in on other vital areas in the Western Arctic that merit Special Area designation. 

Learn more about President Biden’s new regulations for the NPR-A.

WHO IS DOING IT? | President Biden

These protections were implemented by the Biden administration's Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that manages public lands within the Western Arctic. 

WHAT IS A SPECIAL AREA? | A "Special Area" is a federal designation unique to the Western Arctic that recognizes areas with significant subsistence, wildlife, recreational, historic, or scenic value.

Currently, there are five Special Areas covering more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic - each with unique characteristics and wildlife. This most recent announcement by the Biden administration also provides a new process for proposing new and expanded Special Areas to add to proposing new and expanded Special Areas to add to the current five. 

Learn more about Special Areas in the Western Arctic here

WHY DOES IT MATTER? | America's Arctic is vital to Indigenous Peoples, iconic wildlife and global climate mitigation.

President Biden's historic safeguards help protect biologically critical Special Areas and preserve important breeding and denning grounds for wildlife like polar bears, beluga whales, walruses, caribou, and globally migrating bird species.

The Arctic is warming 4x faster than the rest of the planet. A healthy Arctic stabilizes the jet stream, reducing extreme weather events like the recent record flooding in Vermont and catastrophic fires across Hawaii and the western US. It's an enormous carbon sink for the entire planet, mitigating the worst impacts of climate change all around the globe. It is the ancestral homeland of Indigenous Peoples who depend upon access to clean water and unpolluted resources for traditional livelihoods and food security. And it is vital habitat for American wildlife like polar bears, bowhead whales, caribou, and wolves. 

Watch the video below to learn more on how America's Arctic impacts everyone on Earth, and and explore the entire 5-part series of 1 minute videos for how the Arctic impacts global biodiversity, economies, climate and food webs. 


HOW DOES THIS IMPACT FUTURE OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE WESTERN ARCTIC? | President Biden's action takes significant steps towards preventing future megaprojects such as expansion of the Willow Project by prohibiting new oil and gas leases on more than 10 million acres in the Western Arctic. 

The rule also limits future development in the more than 13 million acres of designates Special Areas in the Reserve, ensuring that sensitive landscapes, vital wildlife habitat, and the communities that rely on them are not threatened by oil and gas development.