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Alaska

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

© Florian Schulz

Highlighted Value

Sacred Lands

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska is one of the last pristine and untouched wild landscapes on Earth.

At 19.3 million acres, the vast refuge encompasses coastal lagoons, windswept alpine tundra, boreal forest and other varied habitat that is home to some of the most diverse and stunning populations of wildlife in the Arctic—including polar and grizzly bears, wolves, beluga and bowhead whales; more than 200 migratory and resident bird species; and the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Stretching from the peaks of the Brooks Range Mountains to the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, the refuge’s coastal plain contains the most important land denning habitat for polar bears along America’s Arctic coast.

The Threat

Drilling

Drilling the Arctic is risky and would leave permanent scars on this pristine land. Oil and gas drilling requires massive infrastructure to extract and transport the oil, which would have devastating effects on the land and wildlife in the refuge. Chronic spills of oil and other toxic substances, as well as the air, water and noise pollution that accompany oil drilling, would threaten the existence of wildlife and harm indigenous communities that rely on this ecosystem for subsistence hunting and other cultural traditions.

As politicians in Washington, D.C., argue over what should be done with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Gwich’in people say that, to us, protecting the refuge from oil and gas development is a matter of human rights. The survival of the Gwich’in Nation is at stake.
Trimble Gilbert
Traditional chief of Arctic Village, a Gwich’in community at the southern edge of the refuge
Tell your Congress member to oppose any drilling in the Arctic Refuge

Against the desires of the American people, the Trump administration is trying to auction off Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil industry. Please click below to be connected with your Congress member and tell them to oppose any attempt to drill in the Arctic Refuge.