Interior Department officials and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker are looking to accelerate work to prepare for oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the focus of a fight for more than 30 years over whether any oil production should ever take place on the land.

Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt and Joseph Balash, Interior assistant secretary for land and minerals management, met March 8 and 9 with agency regional staff and business representatives in Anchorage, Alaska. Bernhardt said there that a notice on the next phase of regulatory plans for ANWR will be published in...