© Peggy Bechtell

Defenders in Alaska

Our Alaska Office

Alaska remains one of the last pristine wilderness areas in the country. This vast landscape is home to the crown jewel on the National Wildlife Refuge System and one of the last intact landscapes in America, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Within Alaska’s largely untouched lands some of America’s most iconic wildlife including hundreds of rare and endangered species find haven. 

What Defenders Is Doing to Help Wildlife in Alaska

  • Working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and other key ecosystems from the threats posed by climate change, unsustainable development (including oil and gas drilling), and unsound wildlife and habitat policies and management practices.

  • Addressing the population decline of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale.

  • Working to protect wildlife such as brown bears, wolves and lynx from aggressive predator control actions by the state on national wildlife refuge lands.

  • Working with the U.S. Forest Service and other partners to ensure that revisions to the Chugach National Forest management plan are based on well-developed climate and habitat assessments, and include measures to protect Kenai brown bears and other wildlife.

  • Working with 15 Alaska Native Bering Strait communities to increase community engagement in spill preparedness, planning and response in the largest marine wildlife corridor on the planet. This engagement will minimize spill impacts on marine mammals with response plans guided by science and Indigenous Knowledge.

    Alaska Program Office Area
  • Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local communities including the Kaktovik to increase the use of nonlethal coexistence methods to keep people and polar bears safe.

  • Promoting and building conservation tools like the Bering Strait Response Teaching Tool and unmanned aerial vehicles to map polar bear maternal dens.

  • Sponsoring remote cameras at key Pacific walrus haulout locations to help scientists learn more about deadly stampedes and impacts walruses are facing from climate change.

  • Working to ensure that wildlife, including Alexander Archipelago wolves, Queen Charlotte goshawks, northern flying squirrels, martens, bats and other species and their habitats, are protected under the forthcoming amendments to the Tongass National Forest management plans.

Meet our Team

Courtney Breest
Alaska Program Coordinator

Karla Dutton
Director, Alaska Program

Pat Lavin
Senior Alaska Representative

Contact the Alaska Office

441 West 5th Avenue
Suite 302
Anchorage, AK 99501

907- 276-9453

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Sea otters, © Tony Trupp
Learn More
During Sea Otter Awareness Week, learn about how important these marine mammals are to the ecosystems in which they live, and what you can do to help them survive.
Success Stories
September, 2013 - How would trained responders go about getting polar bears clean and healthy if an oil spill were to happen in the Arctic? We worked with local partners to create tools to do just that.
Success Stories
December, 2013 - As Defenders and many others consistently urged her to do, Secretary Jewell made the right decision, and will not allow a road to be built through some of the most ecologically sensitive habitat in the U.S.