Selawik National Wildlife Refuge  

  • Size: 2.15 million acres
  • Established: 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Selawik Refuge, in northwest Alaska, occupies historically significant terrain where migrants from Asia crossed into the Americas on the Bering Land Bridge some 10,000 years ago. The Refuge stretches from the Kobuk and Selawik River deltas through rolling country upland to the Waring Mountains and the headwaters of the Selawik River. There are no salmon this far north, but the Western Arctic caribou herd passes through the uplands, and local rivers have sheefish that can reach 60 pounds.

Few come to this remote refuge except local Inupiaq Eskimos, who rely on its  fish and wildlife to sustain their traditional cultures. Two Native villages – Selawik and Noorvik – are inside refuge boundaries. Remnants of the larger Kobuk sand dunes are also found in the refuge.

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