The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has sustained the Gwich’in people for thousands of years — they call the coastal plain “the sacred place where life begins.”
A nursery for species year-round, the coastal plain supports 160,000 caribou in the spring, migratory birds in the summer and myriad life in the winter.
Protecting the caribou is protecting the Gwich’in people’s human rights. Drilling threatens caribou migrations and birth rates, risking the Gwich’in way of life. President Donald Trump’s rush to sell off the refuge is part of his budget plan to pay for the 2017 tax cut to the 1%. It makes no sense to destroy pristine wilderness for bad budget planning.
I am grateful to U.S. Rep. Ed Case for supporting, in committee, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, which is now pending a vote in the full U.S. House. It’s time to protect the Arctic and stand with the Gwich’in and indigenous people everywhere.