Yukon Conservation Society and CPAWS Yukon call for public comments on Arctic Refuge drilling

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, June 13,2018 – The Yukon Conservation Society and CPAWS Yukon are joining together and urging the U.S. Government to consider the transboundary impacts of oil and gas extraction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now is a critical time for Yukoners to voice their support for the Porcupine caribou herd and the Gwich’in. Less than one week remains before the deadline for public comments in the Bureau of Land Management’s scoping period.

The proposed oil and gas extraction would fall in the heart of the Porcupine caribou herd’s calving grounds, which could have disastrous impacts on the health of the herd and on the Gwich’in communities that rely on caribou for their culture and livelihood. “Caribou are an iconic northern animal and a vital part of Gwich’in life,” says Mike Walton, executive director of YCS. “The United States must consult with Canada and the Gwich’in about drilling the calving grounds. Canadians are concerned about the dangers of pursuing oil in caribou country.”

“The Trump administration is attempting to condense its environmental review into an impossibly short time frame,” says Malkolm Boothroyd of CPAWS Yukon. “We have to demand the most comprehensive review possible, and hold them to account if they try to cut corners.” The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge was opened for development through a provision included within Trump’s controversial tax bill. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has begun the environmental review process of oil and gas lease sales, and is nearing the end of its 60-day public scoping period.

The Gwich’in Steering Committee, Sierra Club, Alaska Wilderness League, EarthJustice, Nature Canada, Environment America, and The Wilderness Society are among the organizations campaigning for the Arctic Refuge’s protection. In May, investors managing over $2.5 trillion USD in global assets called on the oil and gas industry to leave the Arctic Refuge alone. Yukoners can add their support at cpawsyukon.org/porcupine-caribou until June 19th or by writing in person at CPAWS Yukon’s Arctic Refuge Open House: Monday June 18th from 4-6pm in the CPAWS Office at 506 Steele Street.


Adil Darvesh
Communications Coordinator
867-393-8080 x9

Julia Duchesne
Outreach & Communications Director

[1] Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Title II, Section 20001:

[2] U.S. Bureau of Land Management; Coastal Plain Environmental Impact Statement

[3] National Committee says barren-ground caribou are threatened; Yukon News

[4] Species at Risk Public Registry: Caribou Barren-ground population; COSEWIC

[5] Effects of Petroleum Development on Terrain Preferences of Calving Caribou; Arctic

[6] Investors urge fossil fuel firms to shun Trump’s arctic drilling plans; The Guardian