White House Announces New Protections For Alaska’s Arctic Wildlands

WASHINGTON  — The Administration announced a new rule that will significantly increase conservation protections across 13 million acres of “Special Areas” in the Arctic Reserve, a critical move to safeguard one of the United States' most pristine and biologically diverse landscapes. This unprecedented action aims to prioritize ecological preservation and the well-being of local communities and wildlife over the interests of Big Oil companies, which have aggressively sought to exploit the region for oil and gas extraction. 

Following is a statement from Bobby McEnaney, Director of Lands Conservation at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):  

“This new rule champions our commitment to preserving nature and communities within the nation’s largest single block of federal lands. The rule safeguards our planet for future generations, standing firm against exploitation. The fossil fuel industry and its allies are relentlessly attempting to exploit this vital area, risking irreparable harm and devastation in a region that is experiencing climate change four times faster than the rest of the planet. We cannot allow their dirty energy agenda to prevail.” 


The Biden administration has substantially increased environmental safeguards for 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. This move, aiming to prioritize ecological integrity over oil profits, is pivotal for climate goals, safeguarding natural carbon storage areas, and preserving the habitat of numerous endangered species. This rule will also help to establish additional administrative pathways for increasing conservation safeguards beyond the 13 million acres that were bestowed protections today. Despite this achievement, ongoing industry pressures underscore the need for continued environmental advocacy and protective measures.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at http://www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


Related Issues
Nature & Wildlife

Related Press Releases