Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 12, 2010

Alaska: Protect Caribou Calving Grounds from Oil Drilling on Thursday

Alaska Inter-tribal Council:

Send letters to halt oil drilling, scroll down for sample letter

In Fairbanks, on Thursday May 13, 2010, at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, comments will be taken regarding the opening of the ANWR. If you are able to testify for protection of ANWR, you must arrive to sign up at 3:00pm.
Tribal Objectives / Talking Points
1) Recommend wilderness designation for the coastal plain to protect the calving and nursery grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and Gwich’in subsistence way of life.
2) Call for wilderness review for the entire Coastal Plain and rest of the refuge.
3) Insist on safeguarding the wilderness qualities and integrity of the ecosystem of the Refuge as a whole through appropriate stewardship.
4) Emphasize that oil and gas leasing, exploration and development will permanently harm the wildlife and subsistence values of the coastal plain and rest of the Refuge.
5) Support AI-TC Resolution 2005-08 Titled "Oppose Development of Oil and Gas in the 1002 area of the ANWR and Offshore Water of the Arctic Ocean, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea." found here: End Tribal Objectives / Talking Points
ANWR Background Information.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will develop a new Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the 19.5 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Service is seeking public comments regarding the refuge and its uses, management and its future. A public meeting on the planning process will be held in Fairbanks on Thursday May 13.
In ANWR, 92 percent of the refuge is permanently closed to development. However, 1.5 million acres of the refuge's western coastal plain, known as the "1002 area," were excluded from Wilderness designation under the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). In 1987, after six years of biased environmental, geologic, and economic study required by ANILCA, the Department of the Interior recommended that the 1002 area be opened to responsible oil and gas development. An act of Congress is required for the 1002 area
to be opened, and in 1995, Congress voted to open the coastal plain to exploration. Fortunately, President Clinton vetoed the measure.
End Background
Currently, AI-TC Volunteer Staff is working on developing a written comment for submission.
If you are unable to attend this meeting, you may send written comments by JUNE 7, 2010 to:
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Attention Sharon Seim, 101 12th Ave.
Room 236,
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6237
AI-TC is centralizing all information related to this comment period
Best Regards, AI-TC Newsletter Team

Greetings AI-TC Newsletter Subscribers,
AI-TC has developed the following sample letter in support of AI-TC
Resolution 2005-08. Please print this letter, sign it as an
organization or an individual, and send it back to our offices as soon
as possible.

A .doc version of the sample letter can be viewed here:

The letter can be scanned and emailed to, or faxed to

### Begin Sample Letter

Sharon Seim

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

101 12th AVE. Room 236

Fairbanks, AK 99701-6237

To Whom it may concern,

We are writing today on behalf of our unborn generations, migratory
birds, land animals, and other wildlife that migrate through the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Our letter is written to help
educate policy and decision makers regarding the need to protect and
preserve ANWR. Understand that continued development and exploration
of our resources within the boundaries of ANWR poses an imminent
threat to the health and welfare of multiple communities; Furthermore,
impacts from development of ANWR have the potential to cause permanent
and irreparable damages around the entire globe.

ANWR is critical to the existence of the Porcupine Caribou herd, a
subsistence resource that is essential to the Indigenous Arctic
inhabitants. The Arctic Refuge coastal plain is the biological heart
of the Arctic. The Refuge is the last intact Arctic and Subarctic
ecosystem left in North America. Each year Migratory birds from all 50
states and 6 continents nest and utilize the coastal plain. In
addition to the migratory birds, there are approximately 40,000
caribou calves birthed and nursed within the Refuge each year.

Let it be known that we are standing on the ground, together, in
opposition of oil and gas development in ANWR. We call on the
President of the United States, Barak Obama, and the U.S. Congress to
reject any attempts to compromise the preserved status of ANWR.
Please, hear the peoples voice and keep the current protections in
place for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


### End Sample Message

As these letters of support are sent back to AI-TC they will be
posted online at:

The letters will be submitted to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on
June 7th 2010.

Please forward this letter to any potential supporters.

Best Regards,

AI-TC Newsletter Team

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good fight! The Tribes have spoken. We will fight to protect this land.