Obama wants to establish the ANWR as wilderness, but Alaska’s leaders have other plans.
On Friday, President Obama sent letters to Congress, formally asking for protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
This action comes as a follow-up plan by the White House, announced in January, to establish the ANWR as a wildlife area. Alaska’s governor and congressional delegation were frustrated with this move as they want to keep the are open for oil exploration.
The final decision regarding the ANWR status will remain unchanged by Obama’s letters, as Congress has the power to designate the region as a wildlife area.
For decades now, environmentalists have fought against oil exploration in the ANWR despite that Congress has refused to recognize the area as a protected region. Until a decision is made, the Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to practice “minimal management” in the ANWR.