Gray wolves, musk oxen, caribou, and imperiled polar bears roam the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s 19.6 million acres. Migratory birds visit from all 50 states and six continents. These lands are vital to the culture and survival of the indigenous Gwich’in people, who have relied on the Arctic Refuge for thousands of years.
But in a move that will hasten climate change and have devastating consequences for people, wildlife, and pristine public lands, the Trump administration is rushing forward with a reckless plan to begin oil and gas lease sales within the refuge’s coastal plain—an area that the Gwich’in have called “the sacred place where life begins.” At the same time, the administration is barreling ahead to approve dangerous seismic testing on the coastal plain. Seismic testing would be incredibly destructive to wildlife—taking place in critical habitat for polar bears, right in the middle of denning season—and the fragile landscape.
NRDC is calling for nationwide opposition and helping to lead the charge against this assault on the refuge, as well as other attempts to drill and destroy public lands and waters in the Arctic region. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the last place for oil and gas drilling.