Betreff: NRDC's BioGems News, January 2005
Von: BioGems News
Datum: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 13:16:26 -0500 (EST)

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Saving Endangered Wild Places - BioGems News

Save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Bush administration and its allies in Congress are gearing up for their strongest push yet to deliver Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into the hands of the oil industry. This spring, drilling proponents will fiercely pursue the majority of congressional votes they need to turn America's last unspoiled sliver of Arctic coastline -- a birthing ground for caribou, polar bears, white wolves and millions of shorebirds -- into a dense complex of roads, drill pads, processing facilities, pipelines and air strips.

Not only would this ominous industrial network isolate the refuge's abundant migratory wildlife from crucial habitat and food sources, it would bring with it a host of far-ranging pollution risks, such as oil spills, which occur on a daily basis elsewhere on Alaska's North Slope as a result of drilling activities. We are in serious danger of losing our wild Arctic Refuge forever -- for a quantity of oil that amounts to a drop in the bucket of our national energy needs.

» Tell Congress to protect this irreplaceable Arctic sanctuary for its wildlife and for the benefit of future generations.

In the News
NRDC's BioGems Initiative drew strong support from the international community at one of the world's largest conservation conferences in Bangkok, Thailand, this past November. The World Conservation Congress brought together more than 5,000 delegates from roughly 140 countries -- including a team of nine from NRDC -- to set the world's top conservation priorities. The NRDC team helped secure the passage of several resolutions and recommendations, including motions to protect whales from dangerous military sonar and to stem harmful development in Belize's Macal River Valley and Canada's Heart of the Boreal Forest -- both BioGems.

In another promising turn for the Heart of the Boreal Forest, the government of Manitoba has agreed to support the preservation of 10.6 million acres of boreal forestlands in Manitoba and Ontario as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. BioGems Defenders have sent more than 15,400 messages urging the governments of Manitoba and Ontario to ensure that these critical protections are put in place.

» If you have not done so already, please take action and help safeguard this remarkable region.

As part of a new plan for Alaska's alpine oil field, the Bureau of Land Management has authorized the first-ever industrial development inside the Western Arctic Reserve BioGem. ConocoPhillips and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation intend to construct roads and two drill pads, mounted with several oil wells, in the northeastern corner of the reserve on lands that provide an important calving ground for caribou.

BioGems Defenders sent more than 22,000 messages last year opposing this disastrous plan. We will continue our fight to block the Bush administration's efforts to open lands in the Western Arctic Reserve to oil and gas development.

BioGems Defenders sent some 72,200 messages last year urging the Park Service to ban noisy, polluting snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park. But despite our vigorous efforts, the Bush administration has moved forward with a plan that increases the number of snowmobiles allowed in the park each day from fewer than 300 last winter to 720 this season. NRDC will work to ensure that the Park Service carefully monitors and reports the environmental consequences of this sharp rise in snowmobile activity.

More than 60,000 BioGems Defenders entered our sweepstakes for a chance to win a whale-watching trip for two to Mexico's Laguna San Ignacio. Currently, we are in the process of finalizing the selection of the winner. We know many of you are anxious to know the outcome of the sweepstakes (we are too), and we will announce the name of the winner as soon as possible.

Link to NRDC's BioGems website

BioGems Update
BioGems Defenders:

Action Messages Sent:

» See the timeline of victories we've won

Did You Know?
The Colorado Plateau of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico contains one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric ruins and rock
art in the world.

» Learn more from the Redrock Wilderness fast facts

To Do Even More...
You can support NRDC's BioGems campaign to
save these and other threatened wild places.

» Click here to donate

Nature's Voice: BioGems campaigns are featured in Nature's Voice, our online bulletin of environmental campaigns and victories.

Photo credits: Porcupine caribou herd crossing Tamayariak River in Arctic Refuge: © Mark Kelley, Alaska Stock; polar bear: © Steve Kazlowski, Alaska Stock; caribou: © Alaska Stock.