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NPRA: Protect public lands in Alaska

Letter by David K. Shreffler, Sequim on May 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm with 15 Comments »
May 30, 2012 2:36 pm

The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska sounds more like a place where our nation refuels their gas tanks than some of the most wild and remote public lands left in North America. At 23.5 million acres, the reserve comprises the largest unprotected tract of public land in the United States. Its wilderness values are second to none, and the it includes vital habitat areas that support fish and wildlife resources of local, national and global significance.

I have visited the reserve three times on rafting, hiking and photography trips. These adventures recalibrated my understanding of what wilderness means and why it is so vital to protect special areas within the reserve.

I spent days in the Utukok Uplands, a wildlife haven containing the calving grounds of the 400,000 Western Arctic caribou herd, the largest concentration of grizzly bears north of the Brooks Range, and significant populations of wolves and wolverines.

For the first time ever, Americans have the opportunity to weigh in on future of the reserve by commenting on the Department of Interior’s land conservation plan. Four options have been proposed, with Alternative B being the best option for conservation as well as responsible oil and gas leasing.

Alternative B also expands special areas like the Utukok Uplands, ensures protections for our nation’s caribou herds and safeguards areas where threatened polar bears den.

Join me in urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to make sure the wildlife and wilderness values of the reserve are protected for now and forever.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. aislander says:

    I remember when the Clinton admin locked up a huge reserve of low-sulfur coal in Utah that, if accessed, would have lowered the value of the holdings of one of Clinton’s biggest FOREIGN supporters, the Riady family of Indonesia.

    “Alternative B” is creating a strong sense of deja vu, and should be examined with a microscope by Congress…

  2. Glass house

  3. SwordofPerseus says:

    What the hell we might as well just nuke the whales too. Our addiction to oil makes heroin use seem like a benign habit by comparison.

  4. bobcat1a says:

    Look up conservative in the dictionary and you will see that the first definition is usually something close to “Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.” The oil barons of the Republican Party will not give up pumping oil and digging coal as our primary energy sources until it all runs out and we have to buy the best alternative from someplace like China. What happened to America as the world’s innovator? Gone in the pockets of conservative billionaires who are opposed to change (except, of course, more efficient and polluting ways to use up our last fossil fuels).

  5. aislander says:

    You guys love any form of energy that doesn’t work.

    It seems you wish to constantly reinvent the wheel whether you’re dealing with technology or morality or ethics.

    Once one has methods in place that work, that frees you to be creative in other areas, but lefties never seem to get that…

    You can only tear down existing structures and, then try to come up with ways to replace them. Ethanol and communism, anyone?

    I think you’re all just easily bored, with abridged attention spans…

  6. harleyrider1 says:

    Hypocrisy. Do you own a car? Ever fly in an airplane? Wear shoes or sandals on your feet? Anything at all made of plastic in your home?

    How about the roofing materials on your home or the business where you work?

    It’s why the cost of living in America is more expensive than it should be. We do not tap into a 1/10 of our Country’s natural resources.

  7. Slightly different topic, but closely related comes to mind… “Gasland”.

  8. You righists do know we are drilling more now then we ever have in the past.
    Just to head off at least some of your up coming lies.

  9. Frida – “Gasland” is one of the most frightening things I’ve seen.

    People like Harleyrider don’t comprehend that you can consume and conserve at the same time. Narrowminded people don’t see the forest for the trees.

    Kluwer – interesting fact about drilling, huh? They don’t want to hear stuff like that. It ruins their rant.

  10. forourchildren says:

    There are alternatives to plastic and oil in most cases. There are no alternatives to wilderness! I appreciate the writer taking action and will also endorse Alternative B, to show that I for one prioritize wilderness.

  11. alindasue says:

    The key is to use what resources we have to and very little more. We already have enough oil production facilities that there’s no excuse – outside of simple greed – for destroying what wilderness lands that we have remaining.

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Once again, a new low. This conversation has been had numerous times, with all facts placed on table.

    Drilling on public land down, drilling on private land up.

    Shows the private sector trying to work around a govt intent on hindering business, slowing the economy and denying Americans well paying jobs.

  13. Domestic Oil production UP.
    Domestic exprots oil products UP.
    End of discussion. CT loses again.

  14. Drilling UP

    Once again the right loses when facts are used.

  15. CT7 – fyi – drilling on public land is done by PRIVATE companies.

    let me repeat that:


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