Earth Day Network Applauds White House Proposal to Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


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Earth Day Network Applauds White House Proposal to Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

WASHINGTON – Earth Day Network vigorously applauds the Obama Administration’s proposal to designate the area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness.  The area is a vital site for polar bears and the migratory Porcupine caribou herd which raises its young there. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the proposal would protect 1.4 million acres (556,000 hectares) of the Arctic from oil and gas drilling.

The Arctic Refuge is the only national wildlife refuge established specifically to preserve wilderness values. It is a significant, wilderness quality ecosystem that supports a full spectrum of sub-arctic, arctic and marine habitats.

“On behalf of Earth Day Network and the 22,000 organizations we work with globally, we commend the Obama Administration for taking this important step to preserve this irreplaceable national treasure,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “This is the kind of leadership people around the world, not just the U.S., are expecting,” she continued.  “We need leaders who have the vision and strength to take decisive action and protect these areas from unsustainable and destructive oil production.”

The Administration’s recommendation is a critical step toward a congressional Wilderness designation.  The next step is for the president to transmit his Wilderness recommendation to Congress, and for Congress to pass Wilderness legislation.

Continued Rogers, “Not only do we need to tell Congress to permanently protect this land from the ravages of drilling, we need to step up and use cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy. It’s our turn to lead.”