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Published:September 20th, 2010 10:35 EST
Alaska`s Western Arctic Reserve is home to Polar Bears, Arctic Wildlife

Alaska`s Western Arctic Reserve is home to Polar Bears, Arctic Wildlife

By SOP newswire2

Alaska`s Western Arctic Reserve is home to one of the nation`s largest caribou herd, millions of migratory birds and America`s remaining polar bears.

It`s an amazing place with vast complexes of lakes, rivers and streams that empty into the Arctic Ocean -- and we need your help to protect the magnificent wildlife found there.

Take action now. Urge the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide maximum protection for the homes of polar bears, migratory birds and other wildlife living in the Western Arctic Reserve.

In 1923, the Western Arctic Reserve was set aside as an oil and gas reserve. Since that time, however, no oil development has occurred in the reserve and only sporadic exploration activity has affected the region.

But since the 1970s, the reserve -- the largest single unit of public lands in the U.S. -- has also been managed to protect the exceptional wildlife and habitat it contains.

The special areas within the reserve are key habitat for our struggling polar bears, important calving grounds for one of Alaska`s largest herds of caribou and home to the largest concentration of brown bears in the Arctic.

Thousands of beluga whales feed and give birth off the shores of the Western Arctic Reserve. And its productive coastal wetlands provide millions of migrating birds with the habitat they need to survive.

The Bureau of Land Management is working on a new management plan for the entire reserve -- and we can help ensure that these amazing places are protected.

Urge federal officials to safeguard Alaska`s Western Arctic Reserve`s special places from harmful oil and gas exploration.

Unique areas like the fragile Teshekpuk Lake, the Utukok River Uplands and the Coleville River -- and the diverse wildlife that depends on them -- are especially sensitive to harmful drilling and cannot be replaced.

Please take action today -- the deadline for comments is Friday, September 24th.

Together, we can ensure a lasting future for our wildlife and our most special wild places.

Karla Dutton, Alaska Program Director

Karla Dutton
Alaska Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife