2005/03/19

Protect the sacred land where life begins



The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the Sacred Place Where Life Begins, the calving and nursery grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Desecration of the Arctic Refuge would cause serious detriment to caribou and the people of the Gwich’in Nation who have depended on the caribou since time immemorial. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge must remain off limits to any oil or gas development and must be put in permanent protection status as Wilderness.

No matter how many times the administration tries to advance this plan, the facts haven't changed: drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge would ruin one of America’s last wild places for what the U.S. Geological Survey and oil company executives concede is only a few months’ worth of oil, oil that would not be available for a decade. The American people don’t want that, and they’ve made that clear. But proponents of drilling in the Arctic Refuge have a much broader agenda. Just last year, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) told a group of high-ranking Republicans that the controversy over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a "symbolic" debate about whether or not oil and gas drilling should be allowed in pristine wild areas across the country.

The Bush-backed plan to allow oil drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would ruin that narrow stretch of tundra between the Brooks Range and the Arctic Ocean and run off the Porcupine caribou herd that use the area for birthing its young, said Donna Carroll, administrative director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee.

That would mean dire consequences for her people, the 8,000 Gwich'in Athabaskan Indians of northeastern Alaska and northwestern Canada, who live on the southern and eastern edges of the refuge and hunt caribou for food and hides to make clothing, shelter and even sleds.

The voices of the Arctic refuge are often boiled down to two groups of people--the Inupiat Eskimos, who say oil drilling would provide jobs and financial security and the Native Gwich’in people, who say drilling will destroy their way of life and the caribou that roam the land.

But now that voice is expanding. The Gwich’in are gathering support from Native and Indian leaders across Alaska and the nation.

"Now you got the Gwich’in, the last of the last of the indigenous people of the United States of America. The last of the last. And you all are going to eradicate them. It's called genocide," Russell Means with the International Indian Treaty Council-New Mexico, said.

"We're next if places like the Gwich’in territory, the calving grounds of the caribou is taken away. Then other places that have energy resources in them will be taken as well," said Dune Lankard with the Eyak Preservation Council, Prince William Sound. Native groups debate drilling in ANWR


Beauty

Photograph by Subhankar Banerjee

and

the Beast


For many years public-spirited citizens (from groups like Ducks Unlimited, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Green Peace, and the Sierra Club) throughout the country have been working for the conservation of the natural resources, realizing their vital importance to America's heritage and the Nation as a whole.

Apparently, their hard-won progress is to be wiped out, as a politically minded administration returns us to the dark ages of unrestrained exploitation and destruction. It is one of the ironies of our time that while concentrating on the defense of America against enemies from without, we should be heedless of those that would destroy it from within.

But it's not over yet. Below you will find information and assistance in preventing the damage of one of the last beautiful and unspoiled places on the earth.

Key facts about ANWR's land, oil, wildlife

What you can do to help

Send your Senators and Representatives a message

3 Comments:

I wonder if those clowns have ever thought of prospecting for oil under the White House or the Pentagon. I bet if you drilled deep enough you could find some kind of fossil fuels down there.

Plus, it would make such a lovely sight! 

Posted by WhyNot
3/19/2005 01:14:00 pm  
Nah too much raw sewage under there, from all the pissin' and moanin'  

Posted by Sarah
3/19/2005 04:19:00 pm  
haha Sarah. That was funny ;)

Thankfully there have been major advancements in hybrid/electric cars and new technologies to reduce fuel usage in the last decade or so. I hope the time will come soon when our lives don't depend as much on oil. I also wish these advancements would come faster, but informing people is the key to speeding up this process. 

Posted by Jim
3/19/2005 06:02:00 pm  

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