A voice from the Arctic Refuge

For most of us, protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil development is a matter of principle. But for the Gwich'in people who live in the Arctic and depend on the caribou herd, it is a matter of survival.

Matthew Gilbert of the Gwich'in community is blogging at the NRDC Action Fund this week and next. I hope you won't miss this chance to hear directly from a member of the community whose fate is tied to the Arctic Refuge.


Here's a short excerpt from Matthew's Monday blog:

"The fact that it's even a question whether we should drill in a pristine place like the Arctic Refuge, the breeding grounds of Polar Bears, the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and many bird species, is an ethical travesty of our time. The world is realizing fossil fuel is becoming more and more scarce and its costs to the earth more expensive. We Gwich'in of Alaska pay $5.00 a gallon and are getting hit the hardest, but we know our environment is far more important. Even in a time of energy shortage, we stick to our belief: complete protection of the Refuge's Coastal Plain to ensure the survival of the Porcupine Caribou Herd."

I hope you'll visit us daily this week and next as Matthew writes about what it was like to grow up in the Arctic, the role of nature in Gwich'in culture, the place of the caribou in his community's life, and many other fascinating topics. Please join us at:


And if you find it worthwhile, please tell your friends and colleagues to pay us a visit, too!


Frances Beinecke NRDC Action Fund


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August 2005

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