Hunters and anglers are lucky to have the opportunity to experience the unparalleled solitude and challenge provided by the vast tracts of wild country found in Alaska's 19.3 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In the Arctic Refuge, sportsmen can travel 100-plus miles without seeing sign of another person. Yet this opportunity - and the intact fish and wildlife habitat that sustains it - is threatened by legislation in Congress that would allow large-scale energy development within the refuge's borders.
Most hunters and anglers recognize the need to develop responsibly our public lands energy resources, but we also recognize that some wild places are best left alone. The refuge energy bill is unpopular, unrelated to the budget proposal to which it is attached, and unnecessary with energy prices currently quite low. I join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in urging Congress to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge free from industrial development and to conserve these invaluable public lands.