House Bills Continue the Assault on our Public Lands

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah Photo: BLM

The attack on our National Monuments did not end in December with President Trump’s unprecedented attempt to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by two million acres. Trump’s executive order reducing the size of the two Utah monuments immediately triggered five lawsuits from Native American, conservation, and outdoor recreation interests. The Conservation Alliance proudly issued a $75,000 grant to Earthjustice to support their legal challenge to the boundary change. And many legal scholars predict the courts will overturn Trump’s order.

Perhaps out of concern that many of Trump’s executive orders have withered under legal scrutiny, members of Congress have introduced legislation that would codify the changes Trump made in December. To be clear, Congress has always had the authority to change National Monument boundaries, or rescind their designation entirely. In the past, Congress has had little interest in removing protections for popular National Monuments. But this is no ordinary Congress.

The Conservation Alliance strongly opposes three bills currently introduced into the House of Representatives. Two of the bills – HR 4532 and HR 4558 – would make Trump’s boundary changes to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante the law of the land. The third, HR 3990, would eviscerate the Antiquities Act, the law Presidents have used since 1906 to designate National Monuments. (We have the Antiquities Act to thank for first protecting the Grand Canyon, Devil’s Tower, Zion, Joshua Tree, and Muir Woods, among other special landscapes).

Here’s a quick summary of the three bills:

  • The Shash Jaa National Monument & Indian Creek National Monument Act (R. 4532), introduced by Utah Rep. John Curtis, would leave just 15 percent of the original Bears Ears National Monument intact with the creation of two smaller monuments. The bill would establish a new management council that excludes tribes that advocated for the protection of Bears Ears National Monument.
  • The Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act (R. 4558), introduced by Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, would codify President Trump’s likely illegal action of cutting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half by creating three new monuments and one new National Park in the area, leaving much of the existing landscape open to mineral extraction. The bill would also transfer control of these four areas from the federal government to state and county decision makers.
  • The National Monument Creation and Protection Act (R. 3990) introduced by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop would gut the  Antiquities Act by dramatically narrowing the definition of what qualifies for protection, putting arbitrary acreage caps and location limits on monuments, and giving Presidents the authority to erase vast portions of existing National Monuments.

Each of these bills continues the assault on our public lands launched by President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last year. Fortunately, it is hard to pass bills through Congress, and each of us can pressure our members of Congress to oppose these measures. The Conservation Alliance is teaming up with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to deliver a letter opposing the three bills to House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rob Bishop. Check out the letter here. If you would like to add your company’s name to the letter, please complete the form below the letter.

For more than 20 years, The Conservation Alliance has funded efforts to designate National Monuments. Last year, we engaged our members and their employees to defend our monuments from attacks from President Trump. This year, we expect to direct much of our energy toward opposing bad bills in Congress, like the three described here. Thank you for speaking up in defense of our public lands

2017 Annual Report: Holding the Line and Preparing for the Future

2017-TCA-Annual-Report-v4 (002)_Page_1

We are proud that The Conservation Alliance continues to grow as the outdoor industry further recognizes the importance of protecting wild places for their habitat and recreation values. In 2017, our membership’s commitment to conservation was put to the test as the Trump Administration and Congress launched unprecedented attacks on the US public lands system. We responded by contributing an all-time high $1.816 million to 50 conservation organizations. That means that our 210 member companies pulled together like never before to fund the most effective conservation projects in North America. As we entered 2017, we recognized new political threats to our wildlands and waters, and launched a new advocacy program designed to educate and engage our members on public lands issues. We also built our Public Lands Defense Fund, a new grant program that empowers us to make emergency grants to defend the integrity of the public lands system. By collecting annual membership dues from outdoor industry companies, and granting 100 percent of those dues to organizations working to protect specific wild lands and waterways throughout North America, and supplementing those grants with business advocacy, we brought outdoor industry voices and resources to bear on important efforts to protect and defend our wild places. Here are the highlights from 2017:

  • We contributed $1,559,000 to 38 organizations working to protect and restore North America’s wild places.
  • We granted another $257,000 from our new Public Lands Defense Fund to efforts to defend national monuments and core environmental laws, and to prevent the transfer of public lands to states or private ownership.
  • Our grantees delivered eight important conservation victories that: protected 157,034 acres of land and 112 river miles; acquired one climbing area; removed one dam; and prevented the sale of 82,500 acres of public land.
  • We added 35 new members.
  • We added $50,000 to The Conservation Alliance Legacy Fund, an endowment to provide a permanent source of operational funding for the Alliance. And we withdrew $150,000 from the Legacy Fund to help cover our operating budget.
  • We added seven members to our Leading Edge program, which gives individuals the opportunity to make significant contributions to The Conservation Alliance.
  • Through our advocacy program, we engaged our members in efforts to protect and defend our public lands and other special wild places.
  • We organized nine Backyard Collective events, on-the-ground stewardship projects designed to give employees of our member companies the opportunity to volunteer for our grantees.

It is our honor to serve as a connecting point between the outdoor industry and the conservation community. We look forward to another exciting year in 2018.

John Sterling

Executive Director

View and download The Conservation Alliance 2017 Annual Report

Congress Passes Legislation to Open the Arctic Refuge to Drilling


Congress today passed tax legislation that includes a provision to open the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. In a year notable for a steady stream of discouraging news about public lands and our wild places, this one stings. It is an iconic step in the wrong direction for our most iconic landscape. But this battle is far from over.

Pick your superlative. The Arctic Refuge is our wildest landscape. It is our largest refuge. It is the source of sustenance for the Gwich’in people. Its caribou migrate in herds of thousands. Its rivers, flowing north into the Arctic Ocean, offer once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Everything about the place humbles visitors.

Sadly, very few members of Congress who voted to drill in the Arctic have been there. The passion with which leaders of the outdoor industry have advocated for protecting the Arctic Refuge might surprise these members for whom the Arctic drilling provision in the tax bill was irrelevant. Because our members, who know something about adventure, understand that the Arctic Refuge is singularly special.

Roughly half of the 20-million-acre refuge is already protected as Wilderness. But, in 1980, Congress designated the 1.5-million-acre Coastal Plain as a special area that should be studied for its natural resources, and determined that only Congress could open that area to oil drilling. For nearly 40 years, the Coastal Plain has been a prize for conservationists who want to permanently protect it, and for drilling advocates who want to tap its oil reserves.

For more than 20 years, The Conservation Alliance has funded organizations working to secure permanent protection for the Arctic’s Coastal Plain. Our engagement sparked curiosity among industry leaders who had never been to the remote area. Over the past decade, a steady stream of outdoor industry leaders traveled to the refuge to experience the place first-hand. Most were inspired to visit by Zumiez founder Tom Campion, and Eagle Creek founder Steve Barker.

I had the privilege of running the Canning River with several industry leaders – including Tom and Steve – back in 2009. During that trip, my belief that the Arctic Refuge was too special to drill moved from my head to my heart. I recall the midnight sun, the countless ground nests, the wolves crossing the river, the musk oxen huddled in cold fog. Then, on the final morning, a herd of hundreds of caribou migrated through our camp. The Arctic Refuge is nature on its own terms, not ours. And it should stay that way.

After years of asking Congress to designate the Coastal Plain as Wilderness – and subsequent Congressional inaction – our industry urged President Obama to declare the embattled area a national monument. That effort fell short, as Donald Trump took the White House and inherited Republican majorities in both the Senate and House. Which brings us to today.

Congress has approved Arctic drilling with the tax bill. It is telling that oil proponents had to bury the drilling provision in a filibuster-proof tax bill to succeed. Most Americans do not support opening the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling, even if they’ve never seen the place. The mere idea of an untrammeled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has value. It says that we have the restraint to leave some places alone. That we are not always controlled by our rapacious appetites.

So, until there is an oil well in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, this fight is not over. Why?

  1. Oil exploration and drilling will be subject to environmental review under laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Arctic is a notoriously sensitive landscape not conducive to industrial development. The Conservation Alliance will seek opportunities to support legal challenges to any Arctic drilling.
  2. Oil companies that may now seek to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will have to consider the impact on their reputations and should expect a backlash from shareholders and investors. They will need to evaluate the unfavorable economics and geology that have already led many in the industry to question the expense and viability of Arctic Refuge drilling.
  3. Millions of Americans oppose Arctic drilling, and are willing to speak out against diminishing our greatest wildlife refuge.

What you can do:

  1. Contact your members of Congress. Thank those who voted against the tax bill, and let them know that you support any future efforts to legislate protection for the Arctic Refuge. If your Senator or House Representative voted for the tax bill, remind them that they voted to end protections for our greatest national wildlife refuge for no public benefit, and that you will remember their vote.
  2. Stay engaged! This fight is not over. This Congress and the Trump Administration have launched a systematic assault on our public lands, starting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s farcical review of national monuments earlier this year. That review led President Trump to remove protections for two million acres of national monument lands in Utah. Now the same players seek to despoil our greatest national wildlife refuge. This is a defining moment for public lands in America, and we all need to engage. We have supported three organizations that work every day to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and encourage you to do the same:


Great News for Canada’s Peel River Watershed

Photo:  Peter Mather

Early this month, conservationists and Canada’s First Nations won an important legal victory that clears to path to protect more than 13 million acres of wilderness in the Peel River Watershed in the Yukon Territories. This significant victory is an important step toward establishing one of the largest protected areas in the world.

Between 2010 and 2014, The Conservation Alliance made four grants totaling $140,000 to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) to support their efforts to protect the Peel Watershed. The first three grants helped CPAWS participate in a land use planning process instigated by the Yukon territorial government that was designed to determine how the lands and rivers within the watershed would be managed. Working closely with three First Nations – the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the Na Cho Nyäk Dän, and the Vuntut Gwitchin – CPAWS helped develop a plan that called for protecting 80 percent of the 16-million-acre landscape.

In 2014, the Yukon government rejected the final plan, and sought to implement their own vision for the Peel, which called for opening 70 percent of the watershed to industrial mining development. In response, CPAWS and the First Nations took the Yukon government to court, challenging their rejection of the land use plan. We funded what became a three-year legal fight that went all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court. The court ruled on December 1 that the Yukon government must honor the plan that protects most of the Peel, delivering a historic conservation victory.

With the Supreme Court decision in hand, CPAWS and its allies now will engage in a final “consultation” that will essentially certify the land use plan, and then participate in the plan’s implementation.

“Today, we celebrate a court decision that will lead to permanent protection for a landscape that is twice the size of Massachusetts,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “Thanks to the First Nations with support from CPAWS and other conservation partners, the Peel Watershed is saved.”

Click here for more details.

The Conservation Alliance Funds Legal Challenges to Trump Assault on National Monuments

The Conservation Alliance Staff, left to right: Kirsten Blackburn; Josie Norris; John Sterling and Serena Gordon.

The Conservation Alliance made a $75,000 grant to Earthjustice today, supporting the organization’s legal challenges to President Trump’s unprecedented changes to national monument boundaries. The grant is the largest contribution The Conservation Alliance has ever made to one organization, and will support litigation aimed at halting changes to national monuments throughout the Western US.

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that attempts to shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. His order reduces Bears Ears by 85 percent, and cuts Grand Staircase-Escalante in half. Within hours, Earthjustice filed suit to defend Grand Staircase-Escalante, and plans to file in support of Bears Ears later in the week. Earthjustice is representing eight organizations charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act by stripping monument protections from these national treasures.

“President Trump is attempting what could be the largest rollback of public lands protections in American history by axing the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments,” said Heidi McIntosh, Earthjustice’s managing attorney in the Rocky Mountains region. “But his proclamations are illegal. And they will be met by a roar of disapproval from the American people who love these lands and who stand by the Native American tribes for whom these lands are sacred.”

The Conservation Alliance invested heavily in the organizations that led the effort to secure national monument designation for Bears Ears and nine other monuments during the Obama Administration. Each of these landscapes has significant outdoor recreation, cultural, wildlife, and scientific value. President Trump ordered a review of national monuments earlier this year, during which three million Americans submitted comments. More than 99 percent of those comments urged President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to leave all monuments under review unchanged.

“The President has chosen to ignore millions of Americans to put at risk two places he has never seen,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “We are proud to protect our investment in these landscapes by supporting Earthjustice’s efforts to challenge this assault on our public lands.”

In addition to defending Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Earthjustice is prepared to go to court to defend national monuments in New Mexico and California. The law firm is already engaged in litigation to protect Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon.

“In this reckless assault on our shared natural heritage, the President is proposing to remove protections for wildly popular National Monuments that drive local economies and hold great concentrations of Native American antiquities, stunning recreation opportunities, and areas with unique scientific value,” said Sterling. “Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are exactly the kind of landscapes the Antiquities Act was intended to preserve.”

This grant comes from The Conservation Alliance’s new Public Lands Defense Fund, a special fund designed to make emergency grants to organizations working to defend the integrity of our public lands system. The Conservation Alliance established the Public Lands Defense Fund in January, 2017 with contributions from Patagonia, The North Face, Arc’teryx, GU Energy Labs, KEEN Footwear, Ruff Wear and Ibex Outdoor Clothing. Together, these companies have contributed more than $270,000 this year to support efforts to defend public lands. The Conservation Alliance welcomes additional contribution to grow this fund.

The Conservation Alliance Responds to President Trump’s Unprecedented Attack on National Monuments


Today, President Trump launched an unprecedented attack on America’s public lands. In a move that favors short-term profits for extractive industries over Native American cultural heritage and a sustainable outdoor recreation economy, Trump signed an executive order that attempts to shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. His order reduces Bears Ears by 85 percent, and cuts Grand Staircase-Escalante in half. Like many of President Trump’s executive orders, this one is likely illegal, and will immediately be challenged in court by Native Americans, conservation organizations, and outdoor recreation interests. The Conservation Alliance opposes any attempt to reduce the boundaries of existing national monuments by executive action, and is prepared to fund legal challenges to this assault on or national and natural heritage.

When President Trump ordered a review of national monuments earlier this year, we supported efforts to show how strongly local citizens and businesses support both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. During the national monument review, three million Americans submitted comments, more than 99 percent of which urged President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to leave all monuments under review unchanged.

At the behest of Utah’s political leadership, the President has chosen to ignore millions of Americans to put at risk two places he has never seen. It is no coincidence that Trump ordered the dismantling of two of Utah’s most iconic national monuments just days after Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, ushered the tax cut bill through the Senate. In this reckless assault on our shared natural heritage, the President is proposing to remove protections for wildly popular national monuments that drive local economies and hold great concentrations of Native American antiquities, stunning recreation opportunities, and areas with unique scientific value. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are exactly the kind of landscapes the Antiquities Act was intended to preserve.

President Trump’s action is part of a broader attack on our public lands by Congress and the White House; an attack that we expect to play out over the next year. The Conservation Alliance will work closely with our member companies and our partners in the conservation community to respond to this and any subsequent attempt to undermine our special wild places. We will use our Public Lands Defense Fund to fund grassroots conservation groups in their efforts to defend our public lands. And we will continue to organize our member companies and their employees and customers to speak out forcefully in support of our public lands.

Since President Trump and Secretary Zinke launched their national monument review, our member companies and their employees have joined an unprecedented movement in support of public lands. That movement is only growing, and we will continue to stand strong as we defend our national monuments now, and make plans to secure new protections for public lands in the future.

If you want to join the effort to support our national monuments, here are three actions you can take today:

  1. Join the effort to establish a Bears Ears Visitors and Education Center in Bluff, Utah. Friends of Cedar Mesa, a longtime Conservation Alliance grantee and local Bears Ears conservation nonprofit, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to build a center to educate and inspire the ever increasing visitation to the Bears Ears region.
  2. Continue to stand up for our national monuments. Visit for suggested social media messages.
  3. Remain engaged, motivated, and passionate. We will continue to share updates and opportunities for engagement through our channels. Please sign up for our e-newsletter to be informed of these opportunities.

Arc’teryx to Donate 100 Percent of Proceeds on Giving Tuesday to the Public Lands Defense Fund


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Photo by Florian Schulz

Recognizing the urgent need to defend public lands in the US, Arc’teryx will donate all proceeds from US e-commerce sales on Giving Tuesday to The Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund.

The Vancouver, BC-based manufacturer of outdoor performance apparel and equipment is a long-time member of The Conservation Alliance, and is committed to preserving open lands and waterways, providing important habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities.

The Conservation Alliance established the Public Lands Defense Fund (PLDF) in January, 2017 to safeguard the integrity of our public lands in the face of dramatic proposals at the federal and state levels that would undermine those lands. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, all proceeds from net U.S. online sales at will be donated to this cause to protect at-risk wild spaces and conservation laws.

“We support conservation projects not only in Canada, but around the world. The need to protect the public lands system in the U.S. is at a critical point in time. As industry leaders, it is our responsibility to step up for our community and the environment in which we exist,” Arc’teryx GM/President, Jon Hoerauf said. “We want our customers to channel their purchase into protecting public lands, and we want them to know that Arc’teryx stands with them in our commitment to defending wild spaces and making efforts to preserve the systems that keep them wild.”

Through the PLDF, The Conservation Alliance will contribute more than $250,000 in 2017 to organizations working to: 1) defend existing national monuments; 2) preserve our core environmental laws; and 3) prevent the transfer of public lands to the states or to private ownership.

“Public lands in the US have never been more threatened than they are right now.” The Conservation Alliance Executive Director, John Sterling said. “Arc’teryx is making a bold move, giving their customers the opportunity to support public lands protection during the holiday season, and putting their values above profit”

Trump Says He’ll Shrink Utah National Monuments in December

Photo: Tim Peterson

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, President Trump told Utah Senator Orrin Hatch that he will change the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in December. The President plans to travel to Utah to make a formal announcement about — and presumably to sign an executive order that would instigate — the boundary changes. Any attempt to shrink the monuments will immediately be challenged in court.

In August, after an unprecedented review of national monuments, Interior Secretary submitted a report to Trump recommending unspecified boundary changes to six National Monuments and management changes to another four. The President has yet to take action on Zinke’s recommendations, but his call to Senator Hatch indicates that he is ready to take that next step.

This slow train wreck started in April, when Trump issued the order launching the monument review, and it looks like the cars will collide in December. The Conservation Alliance and our member companies have worked vigorously to demonstrate support for National Monuments, and to oppose any changes to their boundaries. Nearly three million Americans commented during the review period, 99 percent of which urged Trump to leave these special protected areas alone.

Native Americans, conservation and recreation groups, and outdoor businesses are prepared to sue Trump if he attempts to shrink the monuments, and The Conservation Alliance will make grants from our Public Lands Defense Fund to support this litigation. Ultimately, the courts will decide if the President has the authority to change monument boundaries, and 121 law professors clearly believe he does not.

But, Trump seems intent on ignoring overwhelming public sentiment and legal opinion to serve Utah’s political leadership, and specifically Senator Hatch, chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Trump’s top priority is to sign legislation that would issue $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, mostly to wealthy Americans and corporations. That legislation will need to pass through Senator Hatch’s committee. A cynic might conclude that Trump’s monument efforts are merely transactional; aimed at ensuring Senator Hatch is on his side with tax reform.

We will continue to keep you all posted as this issue evolves. Know that we stand by our National Monuments, and will do all we can to ensure our members’ voices are heard.

National Monument Update: New Legislation Would Gut the Antiquities Act

The Citadel, Bears Ears National Monument, UT Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, introduced legislation yesterday that would eviscerate the Antiquities Act. Bishop’s bill, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (HR 3990), would: impose size restrictions on National Monuments; eliminate natural or geologic features as objects that qualify for protection; require county and state approval for any National Monument over 10,000 acres; and give the President unprecedented authority to shrink existing National Monuments. If it passes, HR 3990 will invalidate the Antiquities Act as an important tool for conservation, and put all existing National Monuments at risk.

The House Natural Resource Committee will vote on HR 3990 tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11th at 4 PM EST. Please call your representative in the House at 202.224.3121 and let them know that you oppose HR 3990. Tomorrow’s vote is only the first of many steps required to pass this bill, but it is important that we send a message to our members of Congress that we oppose this misguided proposal.

For more than a century, the Antiquities Act has given presidents the authority to preserve special places for their cultural, archaeological, biological, and scientific values. Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Arches, Capitol Reef, Grand Teton, and Zion National Parks were all first protected as National Monuments, an later upgraded to park status. Since President Theodore Roosevelt signed it into law in 1906, 16 presidents from both parties have used the Antiquities Act to designate National Monuments, which have become some of our most important landscapes for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. Chairman Bishop’s proposal would halt this 100-year history of bipartisan work to preserve America’s natural and cultural heritage.

By including language to give presidents the authority to change the boundaries of existing National Monuments, Bishop’s bill concedes that President Trump does currently have that power. Earlier this year, Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 National Monuments to determine whether some of their boundaries should change. Trump is expected to attempt to shrink four National Monuments, including two in Bishop’s home state of Utah. Any attempt by Trump to reduce the size of monuments will immediately be challenged in court, and a group of 121 leading conservation law experts agree that he will lose. During that monument review, 2.8 million Americans submitted comments, and 99 percent of those comments urged Trump to leave our National Monuments alone. Bishop’s bill ignores the fact that the vast majority of Americans love their National Monuments, want them unchanged, and want future presidents to have the same authority to protect more lands and waters for future generations.

Bishop’s bill is the latest in what we expect to be a steady stream of attacks on our conservation laws and our public lands system. If you care about public lands and outdoor recreation, we ask that you call your House representative at 202.224.3121 and let them know you oppose HR 3990, and any other effort to undermine the Antiquities Act.

All Hands on Deck for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Take 1

Photo: Florian Schulz


Last week, the US Senate released its budget plan for 2018, which proposes opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling to help pay for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. Senate Republicans, who have long sought to open America’s most pristine wilderness to oil rigs, are cynically using the budget process to win approval for Arctic drilling, which would never pass through normal order. Why? Because according to the Senate’s terribly confusing rules, a budget bill requires only 51 votes to pass, and cannot be filibustered. (Filibuster: an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly.) Any other effort to approve drilling in the Arctic would require 60 votes, which has proven impossible for over three decades. So, with 52 Republican seats in the Senate, and the tie-breaking vote in the hands of Vice President Mike Pence, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has never been more threatened. The House of Representatives’ version of the budget also includes Arctic drilling.

We can stop this assault on our most remote and wild natural landscape – but we need to act quickly.

Senate Democrats overwhelmingly oppose Arctic drilling, and a small number of moderate Republicans are either undecided or think the budget process is an inappropriate venue to decide whether to despoil America’s great wildlife refuge.

We have two opportunities to protect the Arctic Refuge from oil rigs: 1) Ask our Senators to strike Arctic drilling from the budget bill, and 2) If #1 fails, ask our Senators to vote down the entire budget bill.

1. Convince the Senate to strike the drilling provision from the budget bill.


PHONE CALLS! Please make eight important phone calls, TODAY.
As early as the week of October 16th, the Senate will consider amendments to the budget bill that would remove the Arctic drilling provision. Between now and then, we need to do everything we can to ensure Senate Democrats support that provision, and we need to convince three Senate Republicans to join them.

Please call your own Senators with this message (202.224.3121): I was incredibly disappointed to hear that the Senate intends to use the budget process to try and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. I oppose any bill that would open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. Specifically, please keep drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget process.

Most importantly, give these Republicans a call with the same message:

  • Susan Collins, Maine – (202) 224-2523
  • John McCain, Arizona – (202) 224-2235
  • Lindsay Graham, South Carolina – (202) 224-5972
  • Cory Gardner, Colorado – (202) 224-5941
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona – (202) 224-4521
  • Dean Heller, Nevada – (202) 224-6244

SOCIAL MEDIA! Join us in a social media day of action for the Arctic on Thursday, October 12th.

If you haven’t already, sign-up for Promoboxx – it’s a wonderful tool that allows Conservation Alliance members to share curated content from us, with a single click of a button. Signing up is simple, just visit Promoboxx is home to a complete Arctic Refuge social media toolkit. We are encouraging our community to join us in a social media day of action for the Arctic on Thursday, October 12th.

Not on Promoboxx but want the Arctic content? Email Kirsten at

2. If we can’t get it out of the budget, convince 51 members of the Senate to vote against the entire budget bill.

If the amendments fail, we will have one final chance to protect the Arctic Refuge from oil drilling. That would require that 51 Senators vote no on the budget. The same moderate Republicans will be the targets under this scenario, with the addition of Bob Corker (Tennessee), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee), and Rob Portman (Ohio). (If you want to include Corker, Alexander, and Portman in your calls right away, you get extra credit. We just thought it was a lot to ask people to make 11 phone calls).

You will hear from us several times as this process unfolds. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been in the crosshairs for nearly 40 years, and this is the greatest threat it has faced to date. Drilling proponents came close to opening the Refuge to drilling in 2005, but our community of outdoor enthusiasts, businesses, and conservation groups succeeded in fending off that threat. To succeed again, we need everyone to step up like never before.

Thank you for your participation in this important effort.

We are proud to report that to date, 90 of our members and recreation organization friends have joined us in a letter to Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, asking them to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget. Don’t see your name? Add your voice here: 


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