NWF Calls on Congress to Protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Invest in Wildlife Conservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 4, 2017) – With the U.S. House of Representatives set to take up a budget resolution this week, the National Wildlife Federation is calling on Congress to protect America’s wildlife and wild places.

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, wrote to Congress this week urging members to protect America’s public lands:

The National Wildlife Federation calls on Congress to oppose any budget resolution that underfunds conservation spending or includes reconciliation instructions that would lead to attacks on our public lands and treasured natural places. With environmental challenges at a scale inconceivable thirty years ago, America’s wildlife populations are now suffering unprecedented declines. Existing federal funding aimed at maintaining healthy wildlife populations, recovering endangered species, and restoring impaired ecosystems has only barely held the line against irreversible loss of our nation’s wildlife. Cuts to funding for federal agencies responsible for managing natural resources would threaten our environment and the wildlife we love, and would threaten America’s economy with it.

O’Mara also urged members of Congress to maintain the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s protection from oil and gas drilling:

Some natural treasures are simply too special to degrade, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of those special places. For this reason, while we are very concerned about the high unemployment and growing state budget deficits in Alaska and encourage investments in Alaska’s infrastructure and natural resources that would spur job creation, we oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The National Wildlife Federation believes the Arctic Refuge, including the Coastal Plain, should be protected and designated as wilderness—the highest level of conservation protection on Earth—to preserve it forever for wildlife and people. For the caribou, bear, musk ox, and waterfowl that call this pristine wilderness home, and indigenous communities that depend upon it, our vigilant efforts to protect this special place are absolutely essential.

Read the full letter here.

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