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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Chapter Chair's Column

Guest Editorial

Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling
October 2011

We've waited over fifty years for this moment: The opportunity to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. We need your help.

The Arctic Refuge is about its unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values, not its development potential. Oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge would harm the unique wildlife and wilderness even as the region faces global warming. Once this wilderness is destroyed, it's gone forever. But even now, Big Oil wants to drill in the coastal plain and change this magical place forever.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) just released a draft revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Arctic Refuge. It is an important milestone in that USFWS is formally considering a Wilderness designation for the Refuge's Coastal Plain. Please write a comment urging USFWS to recommend a wilderness designation for the Arctic Refuge's Coastal Plain to protect it from oil and gas development.

Submit your comment:
• by email to: .
• by mail to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arctic NWR - Sharon Seim, 101 12th Ave., Rm 236, Fairbanks AK 99701.
• by fax to 907-456-0428.

Thank you for taking action to protect this special place. To find out more information and to stay in touch please visit www.chillthedrills.org.

—Pam Brodie, Alaska Chapter Chair,
—Lindsey Hajduk, Alaska field staff

SAMPLE LETTER
Suggested language, but please personalize it yourself:
Subject: Comprehensive Conservation Plan: Designate the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Coastal Plain as wilderness

Dear US Fish and Wildlife Service
Director Dan Ashe,
I urge you to recommend a wilderness designation for the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in order to permanently protect America's greatest wild treasure from oil and gas development.

Already the warming Arctic is threatening the region and its wildlife, so it is our job to defend the biological heart of the Arctic Refuge, its coastal plain. By protecting the Refuge we ensure critical habitat for caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, musk oxen, Dall sheep, wolves, wolverines, and birds.

We cannot hand this wildlife refuge over to Big Oil. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would not lower today's gas prices or solve our energy crisis; it would only prolong it. Any oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge would disrupt and harm the fragile ecosystem and wildlife the USFWS Refuge system is supposed to protect.

I urge you to recommend Alternative C for a wilderness designation for the coastal plain to protect the area for future generations.

Your name



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