Saturday, November 05, 2005

Washington D.C. U.S. - Once again the U.S. Senate has voted to turn over Alaska's long protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to the highest bidder. The 1.5 million acre ecologically rich area, home to caribou, polar bears, musk oxen, millions of migratory birds, fragile plants and other animals, has recently come under the scrutiny of oil companies looking for fresh places to drill. Now all that stands between the oil industry and ANWR is a vote in the House of Representatives.

Plants and birds aren't the only ones threatened with extinction. The Gwich'in Nation native American tribe still relies on the caribou as their main source of food. Biologists believe that the noise, pollution, and construction that comes with oil drilling would drive the caribou away from their traditional calving grounds in ANWR. There are fewer than 10,000 Gwich'in who live in 15 Arctic villages on both sides of the Alaskan-Canadian border.