One year ago, President Obama made an historic statement and called on Congress to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful, majestic and unspoiled place located in northern Alaska, as Wilderness. Now it is time to act on that call.
There are so many reasons why we need to protect this land, known as the “Sacred Place Where Life Begins” by the indigenous Gwich’in people. Not only do they rely on this pristine land for sustenance, it’s the home to thousands of unique animals, such as polar bears, wolves, wolverines, musk oxen, the 190,000-member Porcupine Caribou Herd and birds that migrate to six continents and through all 50 states. It represents a place of serenity and peace, and is one of our country’s last truly wild spaces. It is an icon for our conservation movement.
However, the Refuge is in danger. It is ground zero for climate change, and the drastic changes to the landscape are threatening Alaska Native communities’ ability to hunt for the same foods that have sustained them since time immemorial. We can’t risk compounding this problem by adding drilling to the equation. Big Oil’s allies have long pushed for the chance to destroy the Arctic Refuge, a place that is part of all of our shared heritage. We can’t allow this to happen.
We are proud to join with conservation and religious leaders, Native leaders, communities of color, outdoor enthusiasts, and veterans from across the U.S. today to act on climate change, demand justice for Alaska Natives, and call on the federal government to establish the strongest possible protection for the Arctic Refuge. Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity to protect the Refuge. Politics, science, and public opinion are all lining up in favor of protecting this irreplaceable wilderness.
There has been progress – in 2015, the House and the Senate introduced legislation to protect this special place as Wilderness. That would protect the Refuge for generations to come. But we need your help to make this bill a law.
Sign the petition today, urging Congress to protect the Refuge. President Obama called on Congress to get the job done last year. It’s time for them to take action. Let them know that their constituents care about protecting this amazing place.
Together, we can protect America’s Arctic Refuge once and for all. Together, WE are the Arctic.