Protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Pictured: The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The preservation of this stunning landscape is crucial to hundreds of Native Alaskans and millions of migratory birds. [www.ourarcticrefuge.org]
Cosponsor the bipartisan Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 239 in the 114th)
I urge you to join me in cosponsoring the bipartisan Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 239 in the 114thCongress), led by myself, Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ). This bill will continue to pursue critical protections for one of America’s last truly wild landscapes. It provides for the protection of the 1.5 million-acre Coastal Plain of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge as recommended in the Department of the Interior’s conservation plan for the Refuge.
The Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act is named for two great American visionaries: Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who set aside the core of the Refuge in 1960, and Democratic Representative Morris Udall, who succeeded in doubling its size in 1980. The Act would build on that bipartisan legacy of protecting the Arctic Refuge.
The Coastal Plain is the biological heart of the Refuge and is central to the survival of many species of animals including polar bears, musk oxen, and wolves. The Coastal Plain is integral for the Porcupine Caribou, the primary food source for the Gwich’in people who have called the region home for thousands of years. Allowing drilling in the Arctic Refuge would irreparably disrupt this important ecosystem, impact the way of life for the Gwich’in people, and forever destroy one of our last great wild places.
Today, the Refuge is visited by hundreds of hunters, fishermen, and adventurers each year who seek to encounter the Arctic environment in its rawest form. Countless more sportsmen and outdoors lovers living in distant areas benefit each year from the Refuge’s protected status, as thousands of migrating mammals and birds use the area as a safe haven to breed. Over 180 species of birds from all 50 states and six continents migrate to the Arctic Refuge each summer. As the President of the Minnesota Conservation Federation Joe Hoffman noted, “As a duck hunter, I know the importance of the Coastal Plain for waterfowl, and as a wilderness that be forever protected. As hunters I owe this protection not only to future generations, but to the wildlife that reside in these critical habitats.”
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been an incredible success for more than 50 years, and the protection of the Coastal Plain will ensure that the next 50 years expands upon this legacy. I urge you to become a cosponsor of this important legislation to continue the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.