Located in the northeast corner of Alaska, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provides essential habitat for nearly 200 species of animals, including the 120,000 member Porcupine Caribou herd as well as polar bears, grizzlies, wolves, and millions of migratory birds. Yet time and again, oil interests have attempted to exploit this irreplaceable area to gain – at most – a year’s supply of oil.
The current Congress presents the first opportunity in over a decade to pass legislation that permanently protects the Arctic Refuge. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to make the Arctic coastal plain a Wilderness area, finally affording the area permanent protection from drilling.
Ninety-five percent of Alaska's North Slope is already open for oil exploration or development. The Arctic Refuge’s pristine coastal plain makes up the final five percent and it deserves to be protected for future generations. Allowing this wilderness to be plundered for a short-term supply of oil is unacceptable.
Take action to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge
Polar bears wait for ringed seals to come up for air through breathing holes in the ice. Even in subzero temperatures, polar bears heat up and lapse into restful states. Their respiration and heart rates drop by as much as 20 percent. This lethargic state makes them vulnerable to each other so they distance themselves from one another to allow time to fully function. Because they get the majority of their foods from the Arctic Ocean, polar bears are classified as a marine mammal. Photo: Kennan Ward