The United States and Finland have passed laws to classify and manage Arctic wilderness areas, but their national policies are based on different nature ideologies. Finns tend to perceive wilderness as a human-centered idea, while Americans are inclined to see the same land from a nature-based point of view. Rural residents in the Arctic, and especially indigenous peoples, use motorized vehicles for hunting and gathering in wilderness areas. Attempts of southern-based environmental groups to restrict motor use by imposing a nature-based ideology on rural residents in northern Alaska will result in high levels of political conflict. Alaska land managers need to respect the minority rights of rural residents and a study of wilderness policies in Finnish Lapland is instructive toward this end.