Sportsmen Urge Senate to Reject Plan to Drill Arctic Refuge

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

MISSOULA, Mont. -( As Senate members prepare to advance legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development, public lands sportsmen and women are amplifying calls to reject the measure.

On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a markup of the bill, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and touted as an economic booster.

In a short film released today, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members visit the Arctic Refuge for an epic, once-in-a-lifetime caribou hunt, fishing trip and exploration of the region’s awe-inspiring terrain. The film ends with a call to action: urging public lands advocates to contact their senators to oppose drilling the refuge.

“This is the crown jewel that every backcountry hunter and angler should have the opportunity to fulfill in their lifetime,” said BHA member Barry Whitehill, of Fairbanks, Alaska, who appears in the film and traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to meet with members of Congress in support of the region’s conservation. “It’s the dream for anybody that’s passionate about hunting and fishing.”

“You can’t be seen as a public lands champion if you’re on the wrong side of history,” said BHA Conservation Director John Gale. “Sportsmen and women are looking to our elected officials to take action at this crucial moment in support of this unique place, its irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing opportunities it provides. Strong, sound Senate leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remains wild and free from energy development that belongs in more appropriate and productive places.”

BHA has emerged as a leading voice in support of conserving the Arctic Refuge. BHA supports responsible energy development in places where we can achieve balance and limit impacts to fish and wildlife, but polls commissioned over the summer in Arizona and Colorado show strong public opposition to energy development in the refuge. In Arizona, 61 percent of voters opposed the proposal, along with 58 percent of Colorado voters.

Established in 1960 by President Eisenhower “for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values,” the refuge’s 19.5 million acres, including 8 million acres of wilderness, provide habitat to iconic game species including grizzlies, Dall sheep and caribou.

Said Whitehill in the BHA video, “Last frontier…you know, you take this out of the equation we have no more frontier. I don’t know if that’s a world I’d want to spend much time in.”

The Senate last month rejected a budget amendment that would have prevented oil and gas development within the refuge.

Watch the BHA film on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – and take action.

Learn more about BHA:

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Backcountry Hunters and AnglersAbout Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:

Our freedom to hunt and fish depends on habitat. While many of us enjoy hunting and fishing on a range of landscapes, including farm fields and reservoirs, there is something special – even magical – about hunting deep in the backcountry or fishing on a remote river.

Wilderness hunting and fishing deliver a sense of freedom, challenge and solitude that is increasingly trampled by the twin pressures of growing population and increasing technology. Many treasured fish and wildlife species – such as cutthroat trout, grizzly bear and bighorn sheep – thrive in wilderness. Others, like elk and mule deer, benefit from wilderness. From the Steens Mountain Wilderness in Oregon to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, BHA members treasure America’s wilderness system and strive to add to it.

We take the advice of Theodore Roosevelt: “Preserve large tracts of wilderness … for the exercise of the skill of the hunter, whether or not he is a man of means.”

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Arthur L. Brown Sr.

Alaskan Representative Don Young gave (IMO) the best illustration of the area he put a dot on his nose, expressed that he was 6′ ?” tall and weighed 225 lbs and the dot represented ANWR to the rest of Alaska. I am an Alaskan by Choice (that is I moved here voluntarily), I am a Hunter ( a member of RHAK [Resident Hunters of Alaska], DU [Ducks Unlimited]), NOT employed by the oil/gas/petroleum industry. Great grand father, Grand father, and Father to Alaskan Residents. I spent 7 years working in the fishing and crab industry, and fish both sport, and… Read more »


ANWAR (?) is nothing but frozen tundra. The truck by the name has more moving parts than most of this area.


A quick read f the headline for this phoney piece led to my instant and cdertain conclusion that BHA were the force behind this move. These corrupt new worlders with their corrupt money behind them and America’s welfare NOT in view need to be silenced… yet Ammoland continue to publish their trip, as THEY release it. We’d be fine with a news piece from a neutral position describing their latest antics in their quest to shut down ALL public access to as much land as they can shut down. They are NOT patriots, nor are the welfare of America in… Read more »

Wild Bill

Opposition to Arctic drilling is just the liberal/progressive/socialists trying to make America weak.


Again using Straw Men as a way of deceiving the public.

I know a guy that said none of the BHA even hunt, own a gun, could hit the side of a barn from the inside with a hand full of rocks, they take money from George Soros, the Clintons and worship Gaia with blood sacrifices on full moons.

See how that works….


And now we see the true colors of BHA. I urge everyone to go to their FB page and start asking all their “supporters” there the same hard questions we ask them here and get no answers.


When the pipeline was built in Alaska everyone cried that it would destroy the wildlife. But lo and behold, the herds all flourished because the pipelines were heated to keep the oil flowing and it thawed the ice and snow which provided moss for the critters to eat. I guess the conclusion to draw from that is the herds thrived. Poor little stupid libtards get it all wrong again.

Jeff Priddy

Once again you are allowing these charlatans to spread their garbage. You even use a picture that is mis-representative of the area in consideration of drilling. Are you ever going to acknowledge your collision with these leftists? Total garbage.


Jeff is right.
Your willingness to publish this Libturd propaganda disguised as news calls into question the overall veracity of your site, and your agenda in the continuing fight to preserve The Republic.