TRUMP’S AGGRESSIVE PLAN – The Trump Administration recently announced its selected oil and gas exploration plan. This will occur within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of northeast Alaska. The effects of the Trump Administration oil and gas exploration on wildlife in the ANWR Coastal plain is yet to be fully realized.

Founded by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) covers over 19.2 million acres in the extreme northeastern corner of Alaska. The ANWR is almost as large as South Carolina; or, over half the size of the state of Georgia. It is by far the largest and wildest publicly owned land in the US. It’s a true testament to Alaska as The Last Frontier.

Among a sizable host of various species of wildlife, the refuge is home to polar bears, polar bear dens, musk oxen, large populations of migratory birds, the porcupine caribou herd and wolves. Much of the resident wildlife predominantly preside on the coastal plain, accounting for about 1.6 million acres of the refuge. The coastal plain is the proposed location for all oil and gas exploration.

The Washington Post explained, “The Trump administration on Thursday said it would seek to open up the entire coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, picking the most aggressive development option for an area long closed to drilling.

In filing a final environmental impact statement, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management took a key step closer to holding an oil and gas lease sale for the nearly 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, which is part of the 19.3 million-acre ANWR.

The administration said its preferred plan would call for the construction of as many as four places for airstrips and well pads, 175 miles of roads, vertical supports for pipelines, a seawater treatment plant, and a barge landing and storage site.

Affects of Trump Administration oil and gas exploration on wildlife in the ANWR Coastal plain.
1998 USGS Data (Image: U.S. Geological Survey)

This hot-button issue thrusts many hunters and outdoorsmen and women into a paradox. Traditionally, most individuals professing themselves as hunters politically align with Conservative agendas. This one happens to greatly encroach upon certain values upheld by the same group of people. Hunters and outdoors-people love the land and the creatures there. They teach their children but find themselves supporting a political agenda that inflicts damage to the areas they seek to protect.

Sportsmen and women are wise to consider this issue with research and without forgetting who enjoys public land. An interesting position on such matters was originally published in February 1930, by The Scientific Monthly titled, “The Problem of the Wilderness.

If you so wish to contact your elected officials, please remember how you represent the hunting and outdoors communities. Be informed and state a position with facts and without emotional out-lash. The Mises Institute and In These Times have both published detailed articles.

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