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TIME LINE - Establishment and management of the Arctic Refuge
President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Wildlife Refuge System,
designating Pelican Island in Florida as its first unit.
The National Park Service began a recreational survey in Alaska to identify areas with
special natural values.
The National Park Service recommended that the undisturbed lands in the northeastern
corner of Alaska be preserved for their wildlife, wilderness, recreation, scientific, and cultural
The Department of Interior announced plans to ask Congress to establish an 8,000
square-mile wildlife reserve in the area identified by the National Park Service study.
After Congress debated but failed to create the wildlife reserve, the Secretary of Interior
signed a Public Land Order establishing the 8.9 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Range.
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, establishing the National
Wilderness Preservation System and policies for wilderness management.
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, establishing the
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which protects designated rivers as either wild, scenic,
The first manager was hired for the Arctic National Wildlife Range.
President Richard Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The Act gave
the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation surface rights to 69,000 acres along the arctic coast within the
President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The
Act expanded the Arctic Range to 18 million acres, renamed it the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, designated eight million acres as Wilderness, designated three rivers as
Wild, and called for wildlife studies and an oil and gas assessment of 1.5 million acres
of the Refuge coastal plain.
Nearly one million acres were added to the south side of the Refuge when the State of
Alaska decided not to retain control of lands it had selected under the Statehood Act.
The governments of the United States and Canada signed an international agreement for
management and long-term protection of the Porcupine Caribou herd.
Congress added 325,000 acres to the south side of the Refuge, bringing its total size to
19.8 million acres.
President William Clinton signed the "National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement
Act." This Act provides specific guidance to the Refuge System, and establishes the mission of
the National Wildlife Refuge System "to administer a national network of lands and waters for
the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant
resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future
generations of Americans."
The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that the lagoons bounded by barrier islands along the
northeast coast of Alaska are within the boundaries of the Arctic Refuge. The State of Alaska
had hoped to claim ownership of these lagoons to make oil leasing available.
Note: This is the MapCruzin.com archive of the FWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge website. In December, 2001 FWS took this website offline, making it unavailable to the public. It includes 90 plus pages of information and many maps. As of 2006 the important information contained in this, the original "unsanitized" version of the FWS website, has yet to return to the internet, so we will continue to maintain it here as a permanent archive to help inform activists and concerned citizens. If you find any broken links, please report them to me at [email protected] and I will attempt to make the repairs. January, 2008 update - A small part of the original information that was present in 2001 has made it back into the current ANWR website. There is also an archive that contains a small amount of the original information, but it is not readily available from the main website.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2001. Potential impacts of proposed oil and gas
development on the Arctic Refuge’s
coastal plain: Historical overview and
issues of concern. Web page of the Arctic National
17 January 2001. http://arctic.fws.gov/issues1.html
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