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Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Bill Introduced

Today Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 39) for the strongest protection for the Arctic Refuge coastal plain vital to caribou, polar bears, migratory birds and subsistence livelihood and culture of local residents and the Gwich'in Nation.

Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Bill Introduced

Bear flowers at Marsh Creek, Coastal Plain 1002 Area, Arctic Refuge (c) Pamela A. Miller

Arctic Refuge Wilderness Bill Introduced Today in Congress
Rep. Markey Leads Effort and Launches New Era for Arctic Conservation

FAIRBANKS - ­Today, with the introduction of the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 39) by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), Congress ushered in a new era for Arctic conservation.

For the past eight years, Congress and the Arctic conservation community have fought tirelessly to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development. Despite the best attempts of the Bush administration, the Arctic Refuge remains pristine and untouched. Today, thanks to Rep. Markey’s leadership, Congress has the opportunity to legislate the strongest protection possible for the Arctic Refuge.

The Arctic Refuge is one of the last true wilderness areas left in the United States. It contains valuable habitat for 250 species of wildlife – including caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears and migrating birds.

The wildlife is a central food source for the people of the Gwich’in Nation.  The Porcupine Caribou Herd has sustained the Gwich’in for over 20,000 years.  The herd is dependant on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge for the calving and nursery for their offspring.  Protecting the calving and nursery grounds is a human rights issue for the Gwich’in people.

Protecting wild places such as the Arctic Refuge is a core American value. It is up to us to preserve this important place for future generations, and to respect the cultures of people that have survived and thrived on these lands and wildlife for thousands of years.

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