No drilling in refuge

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

It ap­pears Con­gress is about to break an­other prom­ise to the Amer­i­can peo­ple. It is very con­cern­ing to learn of the re­newed at­tempt to open the Arc­tic Na­tional Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The refuge is one of the last re­main­ing wild and un­touched places in the United States, and is an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant habi­tat for birds and other wildlife. Dam­age to the refuge would im­pact all 50 states. A sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of mal­lards that win­ter in Arkansas, for ex­am­ple, breed in the Arc­tic Refuge.

The cur­rent threat to the refuge comes through the bud­get process and makes no eco­nomic sense. A prom­ise was made to pre­serve the Arc­tic Na­tional Refuge by Re­pub­li­can Pres­i­dent Eisen­hower nearly 60 years ago. I hope that Sen­a­tors Booz­man and Cotton will work to keep the Arc­tic Refuge out of the fi­nal bud­get — it de­serves to re­main wild, both for the wildlife and for all of us who ben­e­fit from the splen­dor of bird mi­gra­tion.

JACK STEWART

Jasper

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