Las Vegas Sun

June 27, 2017

Currently: 87° — Complete forecast

Letters to the Editor:

Arctic refuge needs our help

I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in Alaska Wilderness Week. As part of a group of concerned citizens from across the country, I learned about current issues facing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Arctic Ocean, heard from indigenous Arctic leaders and advocated for the Arctic’s protection with members of Congress.

A bill to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge was introduced on Capitol Hill.

Thank you to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., who was among 39 senators to co-sponsor this important bill.

Protection of our public lands, like the Arctic’s Coastal Plain, is the responsibility of all citizens. National wildlife refuges belong to all Americans.

The Arctic Refuge is a unique ecosystem and home to many species.

These include the Porcupine Caribou herd, a central part of the subsistence and culture of communities in Alaska and in Yukon, and hundreds of different migratory birds.

Did you know that rough-legged hawks spend the spring into fall in the Arctic, then winter in northeastern Nevada’s valleys?

I am grateful for the opportunity to share our concerns with Sen. Cortez Masto’s staff during our time on the Hill, as well as with staff for Sen. Dean Heller and Reps. Ruben Kihuen and Dina Titus.

I hope our entire Nevada congressional delegation will stand up to protect the Arctic Refuge by designating the Coastal Plain wilderness and by preventing oil and gas development within the Coastal Plain and in the Arctic Ocean.

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