Alaska Legislature renews its assault on the Arctic Refuge

The Arctic Refuge is one of our most majestic places, and the home of polar bears, wolves, and the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
Lincoln Else
Renewing its assault on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Alaska House of Representatives recently passed a resolution that urges Congress to open the refuge’s fragile coastal plain to oil exploration.

While numerous other western states are attempting to take over the nation’s irreplaceable federal lands so they can then sell them off to the highest bidders for development, Alaska is continuing its decades-old fight to force drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

The Arctic Refuge has long stood as a symbol of our nation’s public-lands legacy. It is one of our most majestic places, and the home of polar bears, wolves, the vast Porcupine Caribou Herd, and nearly 200 species of birds that migrate to six continents and all 50 states.

The refuge is one of the finest examples of wilderness left on Earth and among the least affected by human activity. Its wilderness values are timeless and irreplaceable. In 2015, President Obama recommended that it be permanently protected.

As the birthing ground of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the coastal plain—which lies between the stunning Brooks Range and the Arctic Ocean, is the biological heart of the refuge. Sadly, it is in the crosshairs of oil companies and their allies in Congress, who would like to sell it off to corporate interests when we’re not looking.

But we will never stop looking. The Wilderness Society’s history is deeply connected to the history of the 19.6 million-acre Arctic Refuge. We have fought for decades to protect this special place from oil development, especially the coastal plain.

We are committed to permanently protecting the refuge from oil development.

According to a recent public opinion poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress, two-thirds of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge, with more than half describing themselves as “strongly opposed.”

For more nearly 30 years, Americans have stood together to protect the Arctic Refuge. And while the threat from our current Congress is great, we have a bigger, stronger and more diverse coalition than ever before, and it stands ready to fight for every American’s right to clean air, clean water, and access hunt, fish and enjoy our public lands.

Together, we will ensure the Arctic Refuge is protected for future generations.










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