Happy 50th Anniversary to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was first established as the Arctic National Wildlife Range on December 6, 1960 by President Eisenhower for its “unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values.” 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Refuge, a National treasure that has become close to the hearts of many Americans. Protecting the Arctic Refuge has been a priority for the Sierra Club's Resilient Habitats campaign, devoted to helping wildlife and wild places survive in the time of global warming. America's Arctic is especially threatened by climate change. Average temperatures are rising twice as fast here as anywhere else in the world with devastating effects on sea ice, tundra, permafrost, forests, and wildlife.
The Refuge is home to more than 200 wildlife species including polar bears, musk ox and caribou. The coastal plain serves as the birthing grounds for the Porcupine Caribou Herd and the most important land denning site for our country’s threatened population of polar bears. Every year, people in all 50 states and across six continents see birds in their own backyards that begin their lives on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.
During the 50th anniversary of the Refuge, President Obama has the opportunity to further protect the coastal plain of the Arctic by designating the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a National Monument. By protecting the Arctic Refuge as a National Monument, President Obama will help eliminate threats like oil drilling and give caribou, bears, and other wildlife a fighting chance in the face of climate change. Sierra Club members and supporters around the country have been urging Obama to make this commitment. All 50 states hosted a 50th anniversary house party and over 140,000 Americans signed a letter to Obama to make the Arctic Refuge a Monument. Sign the card and watch a video of baby Arctic animals at http://www.arcticlove.org