logo Click BACK to return to basecamp
Lost Teachers
Search Info
White beveled edge


The Team spacer


Cool Links
Why is wilderness

The Wild Forest
Protection Plan

Is YOUR legislator
cosponsoring protection of
the Northern Rockies?

Keep the Arctic
Refuge wild!

See a map of
threatened frontier areas


The (not so) Wild, Wild West

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.

- Wallace Stegner

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Courtesy of The Wilderness Society
What a magnificent vision to imagine this land that is now the United States back when Lewis and Clark conducted their journey. For thousands of years the land was relatively unchanged. We can't quite say the same thing of the 200 years since!

More than half of our National Forests have been directly impacted by oil and gas drilling, mining, and logging."The more than 380,000 miles of roads that scar our National Forests -- roads built for the logging industry and paid for by our tax dollars -- have destroyed wildlife habitat, caused mudslides and polluted our water" (Source: The Sierra Club)

It's not just an American thing, either. Global forest cover has been reduced by as much as 50% worldwide due to human actions and as much as 80% of the world's "ancient forests" have been destroyed. (Source: The World Resource Institute)

There are three major campaigns going on RIGHT NOW to protect what remains of major natural areas. YOU can help!

Wild Forest Protection Plan

The Forest Service is now reviewing over a million comments they received regarding a plan to protest roadless areas. Their plan, called the Wild Forest Protection Plan, could protect 60 million acres of our last pristine wild forests.

However, the Forest Service's preferred plan does not end logging in unspoiled forest areas, it only prevents roadbuilding. The plan also leaves out the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. The Tongass is the America's largest national forest and the largest temperate rainforest remaining on earth.

In just seconds you can let your voice be heard by President Clinton and the Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman.

Protecting the Northern Rockies

Caribou migrating - Courtesy of The Wilderness Society
Much of the land once explored by Lewis and Clark in the Northern Rockies region is still much as it was when back then. Indeed, all of the same animals still live there, though their populations are a lot smaller in most cases. However, there are still large gaps in the protection of this area that includes parts of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. And there are always numerous development projects being pushed by different companies.

There is a bill being considered Congress called the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (H.R. 488). The bill would set aside up to 18 million new acres of official Wilderness in the region. In a really smart move, the bill would also create bridges of protected land to connect wild lands that are currently isolated. These are important to help grizzly bears and elk herds, and many other animals and even plants. The bill would also create millions of acres of new National Park and Preserve study areas.

Make sure YOUR representative supports this bill!

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Courtesy of The Wilderness Society
The oil industry and its buddies in Congress have been trying to open the Artic Refuge for drilling since the late 1980s. When energy prices rise, they call up the politicians and give them the old "Drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" speech. "It'll solve out national energy problems and we'll make some money at the same time. And don't worry, we'll do it in an environmentally sensitive manner."

Small herd of Musk Ox - Courtesy of The Wilderness Society
But what would be the cost of drilling in the Artic National Wildlife refuge? How about hundreds of miles of roads and pipelines leading to dozens of oil fields, blocking the free movement of wildlife. Toxic wastes leaking from pipelines onto the fragile tundra, contaminating wetlands, and smoky oil flares extending for miles across the arctic horizon just to mention a couple. A now pristine Arctic wilderness would be forever violated, threatening the migrations and life cycles of unique wildlife that inhabit the region

And would opening up the Refuge to drilling help with the fuel crisis anyway? Do we need the Artic Refuge so we can drive to work? The truth is drilling in the Arctic Refuge would do very little, if anything, to affect our energy prices or security. The amount of oil the U.S. Geological Survey estimates could be recovered from the Arctic Refuge would amount to less than a six-month supply for American consumers (no more than 2% of U.S. demand). The oil would provide no more than a blip on the global oil market and would have almost no impact on the price of oil.

The Refuge does not currently have wilderness protection. But it would also be protected if President Clinton designates the Refuge as a National Monument. But he's not likely to do that unless he hears from a lot of people like YOU! It's his call, but your call to him will make the difference. Call the White house toll free at (888)750-4897, or send him a message right now!

Going back in time in the future

It would be impossible for us to experience what Lewis and Clark did on their travels westward, or even what the pioneers did on the Oregon Trail. But there are still many wild places where we can get a taste for what it might have been like and live in peace with nature and experience its wonders. Think of yourself and the places you might like to go one day. Think of the places you might want to take your own children some day. Now take a couple minutes to show your support for the Wild Forest Protection Plan, the Northern Rockies Protection Act, and the Arctive National Wildlife Refuge. You'll be glad you did, and so will you kids, and your kids' kids, and your kids' kids' kids…

The Team


Links to Other Dispatches

Neda - A Toyota Tercel named Turkey on the trail of Lewis & Clark
Irene - Pack 'em in and move on out West
Neda - The Donner Party: How far would you go if you were starving?
Kevin - The battle that begat the anthem heard 'round the world
Neda - Steamboating the Mississippi…in a floating McDonald's? Irene - Beware of Free Lunches, Especially When It's Offered by the Government
Irene - Extra! Extra! Hunting for Gold Leads to More Misery Than Happiness!