Why the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge matters:

Here, from the Wilderness Society, are 10 reasons why You should care about the fate of the Arctic:

1. The arctic refuge is America’s last and largest remaining wild frontier. While development has pushed deeper into our wild places, the refuge has remained untouched.

2. It’s home to our country’s polar bears. The arctic refuge is one of only two U.S. wildlife refuges where polar bears live, and it provides the most important onshore denning area in all of America’s arctic.

3. It’s a haven for birds. More than 200 bird species from all 50 states and six continents rely on the arctic as their summer home.

4. Did we mention bears? The arctic refuge isn’t home to just polar bears. It’s one of the only places in the entire U.S. where you can find all three species of North American bears: polar, black and grizzly.

5. It’s an epic outdoor adventure destination. The land provides once-in-a-lifetime backpacking, rafting, fishing and other recreational opportunities.

6. A reindeer magnet. Nearly 200,000 caribou march to their calving range on the refuge’s coastal plain each year.

7. The arctic supports much scientific research and is unparalleled for watching birds, whales, walrus and polar bears.

8. A major oil spill would cause permanent harm. Spilled oil would do more than stain the snow. It would kill wildlife, poison the water and throw a pristine ecosystem out of balance.

9. Before you drill, you have to build infrastructure. The land will be carved up by roads, pipelines and well pads. What was once wild will become a vast industrial complex.

10. The arctic refuge is worth fighting for. Drilling would scar this pristine landscape forever.

I also read that the amount of oil we could get from the arctic would only last us six months anyway. We also need to consider reducing our carbon use to slow the rising oceans.

NANCY BRADBEE

Chinook

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