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Letters to the Editor: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

I'm writing to express my support for wilderness designation within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Recently, President Obama announced new protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell relea...

I'm writing to express my support for wilderness designation within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Recently, President Obama announced new protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a new Comprehensive Conservation Plan that includes a formal recommendation to designate 12.28 million acres, including the refuge's Coastal Plain, as wilderness - the highest level of protection for public lands.

The coastal plain is the biological heart of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and one of the last places on earth that has been undisturbed by humans. There simply is no place left on the planet where enormous herds of Arctic caribou roam free, or where musk oxen, polar bears, wolves and grizzly bears can still thrive.

Only Congress can officially designate them as Wilderness. So now, Congress should take the right step and designate these areas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness once and for all. We owe it to our children and their children to protect this invaluable natural resource for the future.

Gary Patton,

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Fort Ripley

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