In the News, View record [Id:146]

Featured : Category:  Environment    Subcategory: Animal Concerns
Posted  Saturday, November 23, 2013
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Environment Update
Title : Environment Update
Category :   Environment  Subcategory:  Animal Concerns
Posted : Saturday, November 23, 2013
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Alaska Wild Update




Dear Wayne,

I know most of us are frustrated with Congress now, but there are some bright spots. Last week, our Rainforest Program Director, Andi Burgess, told me my representative had not yet signed a letter urging the U.S. Forest Service to protect old-growth trees in our Tongass National Forest. I was surprised, and the deadline to sign was the next day, so I called her office to ask her to sign on. Then I urged my husband and three friends to call as well. The next day, I followed up with her office and they told me she'd signed on!

With the groundwork laid by Andi in Congress, we (with a little help from friends!) made a difference. And your emails helped too! By the deadline, over 70 representatives signed our letter to protect the Tongass.

Also, thanks to the controversy surrounding Big Thorne – the largest old-growth timber sale in over a decade – the Forest Service announced it would undertake a more critical review of the sale.

So please go forth! Now, more than ever, talk to your elected officials!

Thank you for all you do,

Hilary Stamper
New Media Director

Progress for Alaska: Polar Bear Rally at the White House

Last Thursday, Alaska Wilderness League joined Alaska Native leaders, our conservationist partners, fifteen costumed polar bears and dozens of other concerned Americans at a rally in front of the White House. We delivered more than 500,000 public comments in opposition to plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean. An Arctic champion, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) (pictured onstage below with our executive director Cindy Shogan), gave a rousing speech and individual high-fives for all of the polar bear mascots.

Watch the video

Prior to the event, the costumed polar bears stopped in communities across the United States to draw attention to effects of our climate crisis, felt not just in the Arctic, but nationwide.

Photo credit: Sierra Club

Thank you to those of you who signed our petition! We couldn't have done it without you!

What You Can Do: Protect the Arctic Ocean from Drilling

Our polar bear rally is over, but our fight to stop Arctic drilling is only getting more intense. On Friday, the government formally requested feedback from the oil industry on potential drilling sites in the Arctic Ocean. While the government stated that "they hope to balance future oil development in the region with the need to preserve the unique Arctic ecosystem and subsistence fishing in the area," we know that's not possible in the Arctic Ocean's harsh climate. Shell's 2012 oil rig crash demonstrated that oil companies are not ready to drill in the unique environment that polar bears and endangered bowhead whales call home. Luckily, based on Shell's performance, Shell and others have decided to forego drilling - at least for this year. Help us take our campaign to stop Arctic drilling to the next level by donating today.

Notes from the Field: School Up for Salmon

The Tongass turned 106 this September, and to celebrate we launched “School Up for Salmon!” – our new Educator Network program. This program provides discussion materials for teachers about the ecology of the Tongass temperate rainforest, and gives teachers an opportunity to join with classes from around the country to create a one-of-a-kind mosaic salmon. One New Jersey classroom celebrated the Tongass' birthday with salmon birthday hats and learned about the connection between the salmon and the 1000-year-old trees of this ancient forest. Learn more here.

Dispatches from the Last Frontier: The Arctic Refuge

Last month, Arctic Refuge Program Director Lydia Weiss traveled to Arctic Village, AK to commemorate the founding of the Gwich’in Steering Committee 25 years ago and their continued fight to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She delivered a card from thousands of supporters like you and me that asked for strong protections for the Refuge. Thank you to everyone who signed! After the event, Alaska Wilderness League and Gwich’in Steering Committee board member Kay Wallis met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in Anchorage and presented her with a set of caribou antlers that had been signed by the group gathered in Arctic Village.

Straight Talk From a Walrus: Video

In addition to polar bears, walrus also live in America's Arctic. Most people know them by their enormous tusks, but did you know they also have an extensive vocabulary? Check out this video to hear some straight talk from a walrus.



October 2013
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Fun Fact:
Fourteen species of whale live in Alaska’s waters at various points of the year: orca, sperm, beluga, blue, bowhead, Northern right, finback, humpback, sei, minke, gray, pilot and narwhal.


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