Letter: Help protect Arctic Refuge

Published:

 

As one of millions of Americans who continue to fight for the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I was excited to see the Obama administration take an important step toward keeping the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain out of Big Oil’s hands.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently released a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Arctic Refuge; for the first time it formally considers the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain as wilderness.

This is an important first step in ensuring that the Arctic Refuge remains a pristine, wild place for future generations.

Fifty years ago, the Arctic Refuge was set aside for “its unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values.” Today, the Arctic Refuge is home to threatened polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, musk oxen, caribou and more. The Refuge’s Coastal Plain is the birthing grounds for polar bears, caribou and millions of birds — many of which travel to our own backyards.

Over the next few months, as FWS considers public comments on its draft CCP, I urge all Americans to stand up and demand that the Arctic Refuge remain our nation’s greatest wilderness icon.

John Bayer

Washougal