12 October 2011 Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—For Good Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | Leave a comment | Share: The fall colors are brilliant at the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, Mass. Photo credit: James Weliver/USFWS The temperature has begun to drop. Apple cider is appearing on grocery store shelves. All around us, trees are exploding into fiery reds, yellows and oranges. It’s officially fall! And what better way to enjoy the sound of leaves crunching underfoot than exploring your favorite national wildlife refuge? Visit a National Wildlife Refuge Near You This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week, an occasion that recognizes the 555 national wildlife refuges dedicated to the protection of wildlife and habitats, and encourages you to get out and enjoy them! Last year, some 45 million Americans visited a national wildlife refuge, which are located in every state and within an hour’s drive of most major cities. Protect a National Wildlife Refuge Far Away But a walk in the woods (or prairie, wetland or coastline) isn’t the only way to show your appreciation for these treasured lands. In fact, you have the opportunity right now to celebrate a national wildlife refuge most people may never see with their own eyes: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic refuge is one of America’s most important natural treasures, supporting a wide array of wildlife including arctic foxes, grizzly bears, muskoxen, Dall sheep, wolves and wolverines. Its coastal plain is the most important onshore denning habitat for America’s vanishing polar bears, as well as the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd. But Big Oil continues to threaten this remarkable area, falsely claiming that the amount of oil that lies beneath the refuge will solve our country’s energy crisis. You can help prevent industrial-scale oil and gas development that would destroy the pristine nature of the Arctic refuge’s coastal plain forever. By asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to recommend that Congress designate the refuge’s coastal plain a wilderness area, you can help bring us one step closer to protecting the coastal plain and the wildlife that it protects for good. Don’t let National Wildlife Refuge Week go by without taking action - stand up and be heard! Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Submit your comments and take a stand for polar bears and other unique wildlife who call this special place home. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in California prepares to welcome wolves home, but delays on providing state protections Now, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to remove Endangered Species Act protection for wolves throughout most of the rest of the country, gray wolves are once again at risk. Delisting would short-circuit wolf recovery in the Pacific West and would effectively mean giving up on one of our country’s most important and iconic species. Fortunately, California has an opportunity to play a meaningful role in helping the gray wolf continue to recover in the coming months and years. I Was There It was a bitterly cold winter morning when the convoy departed down the remote Forest Service road near Salmon, Idaho. Decades after scientists first called for the restoration of wolves in the region, the first four wolves arrived in Idaho on January 14, 1995, thanks to the Endangered Species Act… Victory for Wild Bison in Montana! In a decision that the uninitiated would argue is a painful exercise in stating the obvious, a Montana court last week determined that the wild bison of Yellowstone, an animal that has roamed the continent for millennia, are indeed wild animals.