Our Alaska Office
The Alaska office, est. 1988, has a staff of six who work on Arctic protection, mining loopholes in the Clean Water Act, clean energy, getting families outdoors, climate change, sustainable tourism, youth leadership, and green jobs -- among other issues that support our mission to inspire Americans to protect Alaska's wildlife and wild places.
What We Work On
Safeguarding Wildlife and Watersheds
The pristine wilderness of Bristol Bay — containing the world's largest run of wild salmon, along with healthy populations of grizzlies and caribou — is being opened to mining. Check out the fact page on this breathtaking region. Review hard-rock mining and mining loopholes that allow pollution of up to 40% of the western United States' watersheds. And view the latest video by our affiliate, Renewable Resources Coalition: Pebble Mine is a Trojan Horse.
Hidden Alaska: Bristol Bay and Beyond -- Alaskan writer Dave Atcheson teamed up with photographer Michael Melford to produce a 160-page photographic journey of Bristol Bay.
Do you love grizzly bears? We do too. However, current attitudes, policies and absence of science-based management of grizzly bears in Alaska are increasingly similar to those that resulted in the near extirpation of grizzly bears south of Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries. If current trends continue, they increase risks to portions of the largest and most intact population of grizzly bears in North America. Read the new report.
Read the Environmental Protection Agency's draft scientific report on the Bristol Bay watershed and its natural resources. You can also read our newly released Tribes and Hardrock Mining Fact Sheet which describes the ways in which American Indian tribes across the United States have been severely impacted by the tailings and other toxic waste dumped into America’s waterways by the metals mining industry.
Protecting America's Arctic
At once spectacular and harsh, alluring and forbidding, America’s Arctic conjures deep stirrings in our nation’s collective imagination. The Arctic is home to spectacular wildlife such as polar bears, ice seals, walrus; bowhead, beluga, and gray whales; caribou, grizzly bears, muskox, and a dizzying array of migratory birds and waterfowl. Indigenous Alaskans have lived in the Arctic for 10,000 years.
The climate is warming twice as fast in the Arctic than elsewhere on the planet, sea ice is quickly vanishing, permafrost melting and the ocean is becoming more acidic due to carbon pollution. And just as the scales are tipping toward an imbalance in the Arctic, industry is pressing to move ahead with things like oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
What you can do:
Sustainable tourism protects natural resources while providing people with economic opportunity, thus giving incentive to conserve. NWF is working to develop sustainable tourism in Alaska with several innovative projects, including Adventure Green Alaska, Visit Wild Alaska, and Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism.
NWF's high school leadership program begun in 1998, Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, has partnered with the city of Anchorage to launch the precedent-setting Youth Employment in Parks (YEP) Program. This fall, AYEA teens launched a campaign fighting to protect Wild Alaska Salmon fisheries and their communities from proposed mining projects. Read AYEA's first-ever Annual Report here!
NWF helped create the first “Integrated Resource Plan” for the Railbelt area, which calls for a diverse mix of renewable energy sources to supplement our traditional natural gas base. The $1 million study found that wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and tidal power are all cost-effective components of a power portfolio to be built in the coming years. The Fire Island wind project should be on line by 2013, though the state is also studying a $5 billion controversial large dam on the Susitna River with environmental costs that could be significant.
The least-cost energy is the watt that you don’t use, the power saved via energy efficiency. Alaska has not invested much in efficiency but that is changing and NWF is working with utilities and other stakeholders to improve efficiency policies and programs. Read more, and get the latest on what Alaskans are doing on efficiency.
Alaskans: Have you installed renewable energy in your home or office? Thanks to the efforts of NWF and partners, you can now be paid for it