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Protect Wildlife

Save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!

Greedy special interests and extremists have been trying to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for more than 30 years – and now they’re closer than ever!

If successful, the Arctic Refuge could become a free-for-all for Big Oil and a nightmare for polar bears, Arctic foxes, caribou, muskoxen and many other unique and imperiled species that call this highly-sensitive ecosystem home.

The Trump administration’s reckless dash to expedite drilling and desecrate the Arctic Refuge is unacceptable, and Defenders will not stand by and watch them destroy this incredible landscape.

Please, speak out and help protect this invaluable landscape for future generations and for the wildlife we all love!

*Defenders will submit your name, city, state and comment to the appropriate federal offices. All comments will become part of the public record.

 

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Don't sell out the Arctic Refuge to Big Oil!

Dear Secretary Zinke,

As someone who cares deeply about wildlife and public lands, I strongly oppose any oil and gas activities in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is imperative that you conduct a robust, science-based environmental review for the proposed oil and gas leasing program, fully considering the impacts of fossil fuel development on wildlife and other public values. A thorough, lawful planning process will reveal that drilling in this wild landscape would jeopardize sensitive species, destroy irreplaceable public lands and threaten the Gwich'in way of life.

The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge is the most important onshore denning habitat for imperiled polar bears in the United States, historic calving grounds for the Porcupine Caribou herd, and an avian nursery for hundreds of species of birds that migrate from all 50 states and six continents. It is the biological heart of the refuge, revered as the "sacred place where life begins" by the indigenous Gwich'in people who have depended on the caribou for millennia. Drilling has no place in this wildlife haven.

The federal government must clearly explain to the public how fossil fuel development in the coastal plain would impact vital public resources. The environmental review must fully evaluate the many and cumulative effects of oil and gas leasing, including seismic exploration, drilling and production on the following:

- Migration routes and calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou herd;
- Critical habitat where federally protected polar bears den and raise their cubs;
- Rivers, lakes and streams that shelter Dolly Varden and other valued fish species;
- Nesting, feeding and breeding grounds for migratory shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors;
- Essential habitat for muskoxen, gray wolves, brown bears and other terrestrial wildlife;
- Coastal waters where seals, belugas and bowhead whales live;
- Wildlife corridors and the biological integrity of refuge ecosystems; and
- Increasing impacts of climate change.

The effort to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling is the single most destructive attack on a national wildlife refuge in modern American history. The coastal plain is a global treasure worthy of wilderness designation. It should not be turned into an industrial oil field, replete with roads, pipelines, drill rigs, spills, leaks and noise, air and water pollution. Such development would cause long-term damage to sensitive tundra. The environmental review must include a "no leasing" alternative, as I strongly oppose any alternative that would put these unparalleled public lands on the auction block to the oil industry.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]