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Defend the Refuge!

This year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making a plan for the Refuge's future. This Comprehensive Conservation Plan is your historic opportunity to add stronger wilderness protection for our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and continue this wilderness legacy to future generations.

Defend the Refuge!

Fairbanks CCP Public Hearing

CCP UPDATE: Newsletter OUT

Thanks to activists like YOU, the Fish and Wildlife Service received over 612,000 communications on their Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Arctic Refuge.  They have issued their fourth planning update on the Revised CCP and EIS.   This document summarizes public comments that were received. 

Read it for yourself!  Click Here

Information about the CCP

What is a CCP?

Every 15 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to conduct a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the refuges it manages.  The CCP is the plan for long-term management of the Refuge.  In the spring of 2010, the Service began a 2-year process to revise and update the 1988 CCP and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

You Can Help:

This is YOUR historic opportunity to shape the next 15 years of the Arctic Refuge.  

Last time, the CCP failed to do a Wilderness Review for the Coastal Plain or recommend the addition of any new wilderness for the Refuge.  This time, Fish and Wildlife Service has done Wilderness reviews for the Coastal Plain, Brooks Range, and Porcupine Plateau Wilderness Study Areas (WSA). 

The draft CCP include various alternatives - Alternative C would recommend Wilderness for the priority Coastal Plain area and recommends the Atigun River within the refuge for Wild and Scenic River.  Alternative E would put forward a Wilderness recommendation for the Coastal Plain, as well as the Brooks Range and Porcupine Plateau WSAs which encompass lands to the south added in 1980, as well as Wild River recommendations for the Atigun, Marsh Fork of the Canning River, Hulahula River, and Kongakut River. 

Now is your chance to support Wilderness recommendation for the Coastal Plain which has long been a priority for protection because it is the area most threatened by development (oil and gas), the most biologically important part of the refuge, and is the only part of the original refuge established by Eisenhower in 1960 without the strongest protection afforded by our nation. 

Whether you choose to support Alternative C or E, make sure to mention the importance of recommending Wilderness for the Coastal Plain.  A Wilderness recommendation is a serious statement of support to the Obama Administration to ask Congress to protect the Coastal Plain with the “Wilderness” designation that it deserves.

General Advice on Commenting: 

Speak from your heart about why the Arctic Refuge wilderness matters to you and your connections to this place, whether or not you have been there.  Your thoughtful public comments will help shape the future of the refuge.

View our Step By Step Guide to writing effective public comment letters for CCP -- Most important is to turn it in on time!

How to send in comments:

1. Mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arctic NWR- Sharon Seim, 101 12th Ave, Rm 236, Fairbanks, AK 99701.

2. E-mail to:

3. Submit online at

4. Fax to (907) 456-0428

Suggested Points to Raise: 

1.  Urge recommended Wilderness designation for the Arctic Refuge's Coastal Plain to protect its unique wilderness, wildlife, and subsistence values and enhance refuge management to best fulfil its purposes.  Yes! Additional lands should be recommended for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System!

2.  Support Alternative C that recommends Wilderness designation for the Coastal Plain Wilderness Study Area. The Arctic Refuge, particularly its Coastal Plain, deserves to be granted the strongest possible protections. 

3.  Oppose any oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development including seismic surveys and any support facilities in the Refuge because it is incompatible with the purposes of the Arctic Refuge and would permanently harm the wildlife, wilderness, and subsistence values. Management policies should not allow any oil and gas support facilities or activities, seismic or surface geology surveys, in the Coastal Plain or anywhere in the refuge. 

4.  FWS correctly did not include an Oil & Gas alternative because Oil and Gas development is NOT a purpose of the Coastal Plain or any part of the refuge.  The best way to protect the refuge is with Wilderness Designation.

5.  Applaud the plan’s strong Vision Statement and Goals (especially 1-Ecological Processes;  2-Retaining exceptional wilderness character;  4 –Providing continued subsistence opportunities;  5-Wildlife & wilderness recreational values;  6- Climate change; 8- Cultural Resources) to keep the circle of life in the Arctic Refuge whole and wild.

6.  Support protection of the Arctic Refuge’s Special Values—from the wilderness character of the whole refuge, to ecological protection at the landscape scale, wildlife habitats, rivers, Alaska Native culture and subsistence, and recreation.

7.  Thank FWS for doing the Wilderness Review and it should be completed in the final CCP so that all areas maintain their Wilderness characteristics and suitability for the life of the plan.  The 50-year old Arctic Refuge is the only national wildlife refuge established specifically to preserve wilderness values and the whole refuge should be managed to uphold this purpose.

8.  Manage the Arctic Refuge as an whole because this is our nation’s largest, wildest refuge and the plan must ensure that into the future its natural biodiversity, ecological processes, Wilderness purposes and Special Values are intact so it stays an unparalleled piece of our nation’s natural heritage.

The following are tools designed to assist you in commenting on the CCP:







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