The Trump Administration has taken immediate, and some illegal, steps to allow drilling on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In 1960 the Alaskan refuge was established “For the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values ...” In 1980 the ANICLCA re-designated the area as part of the larger Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act to:
“Conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity; Fulfill international fish and wildlife treaty obligations of the U.S; Provide opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents; Ensure water quality and necessary water quality within the refuge.” Drilling and seismic testing are contrary to these values.
The U.S. signed a treaty with Canada to protect the Porcupine caribou herd and habitat, recognizing such areas as calving, post-calving, migration, wintering and insect relief.
Gwich’in people depend on the caribou for their cultural, spiritual and physical survival.
The United Nations passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishing “a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being for the indigenous peoples of the world.” Drilling on the Coastal Plain violates Gwich’in human rights.
Senator Michael Bennet, whose leadership has protected public lands, is co-author of the Coastal Plain Wilderness Bill.
Senator Cory Gardner is reportedly leaning to vote with Trump to drill. We need him to consider the values that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and a Republican Congress, used to protect our Arctic Refuge.