Biden administration orders temporary moratorium on oil and gas development in the refuge, heeding the call of hunters and anglers, outdoor businesses, others
MISSOULA, Mont. – The wildlife-rich coastal plain within Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been temporarily placed off-limits to oil and gas development under an executive order issued last night by the Biden administration.
The administration’s decision heeds the calls of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members, supporters and partners, who have consistently urged decision-makers to utilize the best available science and avoid pursuing development in sensitive wildlife habitat across Alaska’s Arctic regions.
“Few places better embody ‘America’s last frontier’ than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a bucket list destination for sportsmen and women all over North America that supports robust populations of fish and game and is a mainstay of indigenous subsistence communities,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney.
“BHA members have engaged for over a decade to conserve this irreplaceable habitat and the hunting and fishing opportunities it provides,” Tawney continued. “We thank President Biden for his quick work in responding to our requests and ensuring the long-term conservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
Alaska’s Arctic is a diverse region of landscapes that ranges northward to the coast of the Arctic Ocean. Within that region, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 19.3 million acres, the largest in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska covers roughly 23.6 million acres, making it the single largest undisturbed tract of public land in the United States.
In December, 20 businesses and organizations sent a letter to congressional and administrative leaders emphasizing the importance of Alaska’s Arctic North to fish and wildlife as well as hunters and anglers.
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