“The refuge is so remote and untamed that many peaks, valleys, and lakes are still without names and shall remain that way.” Subhankar Banerjee

“Ralph Waldo Emerson called wilderness 'uncontained and immortal beauty' for the simple reason that wilderness was free. That is what makes the coastal plain so beautiful and so valuable. The wildlife great and small: caribou, polar bears, voles and vetch.” William H. Meadows

“Standing among sharp-edged peaks, at the convergence of mountains and sky, I am alone at a place without roads or people, not even trails except those trodden by wild sheep and caribou; there is nothing to violate the peace. Here one can recapture the rhythm of life and the feeling of belonging to the natural world.” George B. Schaller (Photo by CCH Maui member Lance Holter)
“This wild, free valley and the barren ground beyond is but a fragment of one of the last pristine regions left on earth, entirely unscarred by roads or signs, indifferent to mankind, utterly silent.” Peter Matthiessen
“We have a unique opportunity to preserve something that is in danger of vanishing—a whole and natural place, a true wilderness, where the birds are at home and we are visitors.” David Allen Sibley
Inupiat Cemetery
Photos and captions excerpted with permission from Subhankar Banerjee's World Without Borders site. Please visit the site for a more complete look at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Save the Arctic Refuge PSA by Rob Kinslow

Help Save the Arctic Refuge!

Please help protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by writing letters to Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka. Ask them to reverse their current position, oppose oil drilling in the Refuge, and support Wilderness designation for the entire Refuge, including the coastal plain where oil drilling is proposed.

Senator Daniel Akaka
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3-106
Honolulu, HI 96850
Fax: 545-4683
Email: senator@akaka.senate.gov

Senator Daniel Inouye:
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 7-212
Honolulu, HI 96850
Fax: 541-2549
Email: senator@inouye.senate.gov

Talking Points:

  • The majority of the American people oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is the last 5% of the North Slope of Alaska that is undeveloped.
  • Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would ruin one of America’s last unspoiled wild places. The coastal plain of the Refuge is the birthing grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, and it is the best polar bear den habitat in the region. Birds from all 50 states and 6 continents migrate to the Refuge annually.
  • Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is important ecologically and culturally. The narrow coastal plain is the biological heart of the Refuge with its spectacular diversity of wildlife. The area supports the subsistence lifeways and culture of the Gwich’in people.
  • Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a stepping-stone to offshore oil drilling along the entire North Slope. Inupiat Eskimos know this would harm marine mammals and other ocean resources they need to survive.
  • This debate transcends the pristine expanses of the Arctic – the integrity of America’s remaining wild places is at stake. The controversy over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a “symbolic” fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in sensitive areas elsewhere. If oil drilling is allowed in the Arctic Refuge, no place in America will be safe!
  • Increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles, conserving energy, and increasing renewable energy sources are viable alternatives to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We can implement these alternatives now instead of drilling in the Refuge for what the U.S. Geological Survey and oil company executives concede is only a few months’ worth of oil that would not even be available for a decade.
  • No matter what one thinks of drilling, it is wrong to sneak this into the national budget. Instead of using normal open debate over the important issue of oil drilling in the Refuge, drilling proponents want to include speculative Arctic oil revenues in the FY 2006 federal budget.

Web sites:
Gwich’in Steering Committee
Alaska Wilderness League
World Without Borders
Oil on Ice
Outside magazine: The ANWR Debate

Wild Mercy
The eyes of the future are looking back at us
and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
They are kneeling with clasped hands that we might act
with restraint, leaving room for the life that is destined to come.
To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause within our own heartbeats,
the silent space that says we live only by grace.
Wilderness lives by this same grace.
We have it within our power to create merciful acts.
The act of restraint by the United States Congress
in the name of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
would be the most powerful act of all.
Call it The Act of Wild Mercy, an interval of silence
sustained in the twenty-first century.

Terry Tempest Williams

In Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land by
Subhankar Banerjee

Conservation Council for Hawai‘i
(If you would like to receive e-mail action alerts, please contact Bill Sager at info@conservehi.org and ask to be added to the CCH Action Alert List.)