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Support the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Last December, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, recalling our deep respect for the Refuge as a national treasure that stands alone in its wildness, ecological integrity, beauty, and unique recreational opportunities. Today, we have a historic opportunity to promote wilderness protection for this incomparable landscape, preserving it for future generations to enjoy.

Representative Edward Markey and Senator Joe Lieberman have introduced legislation in the House (H.R. 139) and Senate (S. 33) that would designate 1.5 million acres of wilderness along the coastal plain of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System under the Wilderness Act. Such a designation would protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge against oil and gas development, preserving its pristine, fragile ecosystem from the roads, pipelines, and oil derricks that accompany such exploration.

The Arctic Refuge is unique among Refuges - it was the only one established specifically to preserve wilderness values. The Refuge's coastal plain is a vital part of a larger ecosystem and connected to existing wilderness through its scenic landscapes, watersheds, rivers, migrations, and broader ecosystem. The Episcopal Church has long opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge not only because of our concern for and stewardship of God's creation, but because of our commitment to standing with the Gwich'in Nation, which represents one of the only native Anglican nations in the world (GC Res 1991-D125).

Urge your Senator and Representative to preserve the manifest beauty and dynamic ecosystem of the Arctic Refuge and co-sponsor H.R. 139 and S.33.

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