Nature & Science
Encompassing 6.5 million acres of land, Noatak National Preserve was established to maintain the largest undisturbed watershed in North America – the Noatak River.
The Noatak River basin, one of the world’s finest remaining vast wilderness areas, has been named an International Biosphere Reserve; the river itself has been designated a National Wild River for most of its length.
The preserve lies almost completely enclosed by the Baird and DeLong Mountains of the Brooks Range. It is within the preserve that the boreal forest ends, merging into treeless tundra on the valley’s southern edge. Hundreds of thousands of caribou cross this broad expanse, migrating to and from calving grounds.
In addition to protecting the Noatak River valley and adjacent lands, the preserve also serves to protect the fish, wildlife, waterfowl and archeological resources within its boundaries.
Did You Know?
Approximately 90% (5.8 million acres) of Noatak National Preserve is designated wilderness, making it the fourth largest wilderness in the United States. It is the largest area with an indigenous name.