Agreement on the Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd in the “1002 Area”

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the largest protected wilderness in the United States, bordering the Beaufort Sea in Northern Alaska. A significant portion of ANWR, known as the “1002 Area”, rests on an area thought to have a significant amount of oil. This same area, however, for reasons unknown, is the only area, in which the Porcupine Caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) give birth to their calves. The Caribou are the primary source of sustenance for the Gwich’in people, a Native Alaskan Tribe. Despite the economic potential of this area, the United States and Canada both decided to sign the “Agreement on the Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd” on 17 July 1987, which banned the drilling for oil in the “1002 Area”.

Contributed by Sophia Callahan
Course: Modern Global Environmental History
Instructor: Dr. Wilko Graf von Hardenberg
University of Wisconsin, Madison, U.S.