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Supporters Rally to Protect the Arctic Refuge

February 03, 2005 | Environment

On Wednesday, February 2, 2005, Friends of Animals and other members of the Arctic Coalition held a Rally for the Refuge, near the Capitol in Washington DC. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) and Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) spoke to the crowd in support of House Bill HR 567 and Senate Bill S261, bills which would permanently protect the the Arctic National Widlife Refuge.

The following statement was issued by Friends of Animals's president Priscilla Feral:

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provides a home for more than 200 species of birds and animals including Tundra swans, caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears and wolves. The full protection granted under a wilderness designation is crucial if this biocommunity is to survive and thrive.

Arctic Rally
Senator Barbara Boxer addresses the crowd
(photo: John A. McComb)

Contrasting Prudhoe Bay, an industrial complex, with the landscape of the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge in northeastern Alaska, Friends of Animals recognizes that the Refuge's unique wilderness exists almost nowhere else.The coastal plain is void of the damage and obtrusiveness of steel oil pipelines, gravel roads, exploration equipment, drilling rigs, processing stations, air strips and contamination from spills.

Friends of Animals believes that the U.S. has a moral obligation to keep the coastal plain off-limits to oil exploration. We urge Congress to list the Arctic Refuge as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

What you can do:

Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S 261, the Senate bill to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge. Also ask them to oppose all attempts to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and exploration.

Contact your Congressional Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the H567, the House bill to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge. Also ask them to oppose all attempts to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and exploration.

It is especially helpful to visit the state offices of your Senator or Representatives. If you are able to do this, contact Bill Dollinger in our Washington DC office, at (202) 296-2172.

You can locate your Senators and Representatives at

The Honorable
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121

The Honorable
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121

For backround on this issue, see the following related links:
Urgent: Action Needed for Arctic Refuge


Someone should ask this judge how she would feel if someone wanted to rid the planet of all judges because we wanted to increase the number of cows (beef) per person. OR Someone should ask this judge what rights the moose have over the wolves. Moose, wolves, moose, wolves. Both animals, as we are. Do they not also have rights, as all animals do? ALL PRESIDING JUDGES SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO PICK UP THE DEAD CARCASSES OR THE DYING WOLVES AND THEN MAKE THEIR DECISION........Respect all living things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm glad that you are supporting animals. i have always wanted to start my own orginisation, one, something that people remenber! Animals were on the earth long before humans and should be RESPECTED. Unfortunately this is not the case and i shall be donating to animal charities as often as i can and will be holding sponsered events to raise money. thankyou, Stefi x

FoA's member from Fairbanks, AK asked that we post this comment: The push for oil development in the Arctic Refuge is designed to start another Alaska development boom. Is there oil present that would help to lessen the shortage in the U.S.? The fact is that no one knows. There has not been any exploration in the Arctic Refuge, so any claims are nothing more than speculation. One hole has been drilled on Native property which came up dry, but no one has made any effort to inform the public about this fact.They did a good job of cleaning up the drill pad area by removing the gravel and replanting with grass. However, the natural insulation was destroyed and the restored area is slowly sinking into the ground. Proponents of drilling talk about the small size of the proposed development area in contrast to the large size of the Arctic Refuge. That has no bearing on the problem, as this so-called prairie area is the heart of the Refuge for wildlife. Why don't the oil companies want to drill elsewhere if so much land is available? Secretary of Interior's Gale Norton says the Arctic Refuge is barren, but she doesn't know what she's talking about. In the winter, it may appear barren, but it is full of life. In Spring the land is home to wildlife looking for a place to raise a family. Millions of birds migrate to the Lower 48 after the breeding season. In the winter, denning polar bears depend on the Refuge along with many other smaller animals who hibernate. Oil drilling proponents say that new technology will prevent damage to the Refuge. What's new about gravel drill pads, connecting roads, air strips chopper landing pads, plus miles of pipeline, and living quarters for hundreds of employees? Prudhoe Bay's development proved an ecological disaster, but no one will admit that except for a few independent biologists. I have flown my airplane over 90% of the Arctic Refuge, hiked over smaller selected areas, and landed on most of the area's lakes in both winter and summer. I have lived in Alaska for more than 44 years, and admit there are still some places that I've missed. When someone says that they've visited the Refuge, so their views of opposition to preserving this wilderness are valid, I strongly disagree. Those exploitation-based arguments are shallow. Thomas J. Classen Fairbanks, Alaska


I am fortunate to be able to say that I too have experienced the High Arctic; it is a special place beyond compare. I agree with Mr Classens comments. It is not “barren” nor is it a frozen wasteland as the Senator from Alaska touts. To the contrary, there is as much “life per square and/or cubic mile” than anywhere on Earth. It is my belief, that we as human beings, whatever our political affiliations, have no right to deaden one of the last truly wild places on our Planet with this president’s shortsighted and obviously greedily driven political ambitions in the name of “the price per barrel.” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Lets fight this. Thank you all for your bravery and foresight. Sincerely, Greg M. Butler
P.O. Box 1271
Port Angeles, Wa. 98362

LET'S PUSH ALTERNATIVE FUELS. This Administration's decisions are all about the oil (think: Texas, Iraq, Saudi Arabia) and taking care of friends and family in big business/politics. It's convenient to wrap onself in the flag and claim that expanded oil drilling is necessary to benefit the Nation and future generations. And it's a convincing act in front of the unthinking masses...who, by the way, the Administration, doesn't care about either. It's the ultimate con-job: getting citizens who are losing their jobs and struggling to pay for health care to help fund wealthy buddies' empires. And all at the demise of wilderness and wildlife. Until the thinking masses (yes, there are plenty of us) convince the Administration that there's money to be made in ALTERNATIVE FUELS, there's no real hope for wilderness preservation and animal protection during the next 4 years. "They" simply can't make money from wildlife and preserved lands. And that, my friends, is the bottom line.

The arctic refuge needs permanent protection from the Bush administration and oil destroy this beautiful last wild place is unthinkable and congress must act to stop any action that will open this precious land to development.

Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is imperitive. Maybe we can put an oil drilling machine, beside each Congressman or Represenatives home and start the noise and Destruction up every morning. They all may reconsider their position on A.N.W.R. bill.Don't let them rape our land. Let's promote alternative resources for energy.The greed must stop somewhere, stop it here at our most precious resource.

-Congrats FOA, don't ever give up. We are the underdogs, but think "2008" new admin, new plans! -Our animals friends are counting on our signitures and our writing to our senators!! -STOP this pre emption now. under the guise of "wildlife protection" George dumbya Bush you are full of bull. you and your big oil can can it. What is next??

Animals have as much right to live as we do. God created them too and I hope we never forget that. I'm so glad to know that there are still some people who appreciate God's creation by trying to protect and preserve them. May God bless and keep you safe always.

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