Supporters of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have a problem. The Arctic Refuge, though big, beautiful and renowned for its value to both wildlife and Native peoples, is really far away from most Americans. It’s hard to get people to care about a place that’s at risk when they’ve never visited – and likely never will.
Advocates have struggled to make the Arctic Refuge “real,” to build the drumbeat of support necessary to protect it from the threat of energy development and push Congress and the White House to back permanent protections. Luckily, there are dozens of organizations who seem poised to contribute to that drumbeat, if only we can help them see the connections between their local wildlife refuges and the Arctic: the Refuge Friends groups.