More Arctic Wildlife Habitat Offered up to the Oil Industry

"This plan turns its back on unique and spectacular Arctic wildlife species and sells their key habitat out to the oil industry. It gives away critical habitat for imperiled polar bears and vital habitat for caribou and migratory birds to oil companies that will only exacerbate the climate crisis by expanding into a fragile frontier area with new drilling. It is bad for the Western Arctic and bad for the planet.”

Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife
Washington, DC

Today, the Bureau of Land Management released the pre-publication Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for a revised Integrated Activity Plan for the 22 million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (Reserve), located in the state’s Western Arctic region. The final plan undermines protections for the spectacular wildlife values in the Reserve, allowing new leasing, exploration and development in critical polar bear habitat and other important wildlife areas.  
 
The plan will open lands to drilling in and around the sensitive Teshekpuk Lake Special Area that provides vital habitat for caribou, migratory birds, raptors and polar bears and eliminates the entire Colville River Special Area. With these changes together with proposed leasing in the Arctic Refuge, virtually all of America’s Arctic coastline is subject to seismic exploration and potential future oil and gas development.
 
Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska program director, Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:   
 
“This plan turns its back on unique and spectacular Arctic wildlife species and sells their key habitat out to the oil industry. It gives away critical habitat for imperiled polar bears and vital habitat for caribou and migratory birds to oil companies that will only exacerbate the climate crisis by expanding into a fragile frontier area with new drilling. It is bad for the Western Arctic and bad for the planet.”

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Gwen Dobbs
Gwen Dobbs
Director of Media Relations
gdobbs@defenders.org
(202) 772-0269

News

Three More Mexican Gray Wolves Killed

Two of the Mexican gray wolf deaths are now under investigation by wildlife officials, as reported last month.
Monterey, Calif.

Report on Expert Opinion Confirms Southern Sea Otter Remains Threatened with Extinction and in Need of Full Protection

Today, Friends of the Sea Otter (FSO) released the report, Roadmap: Recovery of the Southern Sea Otter.