Press Room

Birds Beware: House Proposes Drilling in America’s Last True Wilderness

The House Budget Committee sets the wheels in motion to open the the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas development.

WASHINGTON—“The nihilistic thinking behind the House proposal to drill in America’s most prolific bird nursery would expose millions of baby birds to life-threatening human impact. Some places are too special to develop and few places are as important for birds as the Arctic Refuge, where birds from every other state and five other continents go to raise their chicks," said Sarah Greenberger, Audubon's VP of conservation, in response to the House Budget Committee’s proposed 2018 budget, which paves the way for oil and gas development in the Arctic Refuge.

"Opening up this iconic landscape to more drilling wouldn’t move the needle on our nation's energy needs but would permanently diminish one of the wildest places we have left on earth.

“Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have historically supported the Arctic Refuge as a keystone of American natural heritage and we look to them to do so once more. We call on the House to remove this language from the budget and leave some wilderness for future generations of birds and people.”

Every year 200 species of birds—including the Northern Pintail—migrate through six continents and states across the country to breed in the Refuge. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an iconic, American treasure on par with the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite. First protected by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, leaders from both parties have worked together for generations to stop attempts to open the biological heart of the Refuge—it’s pristine coastal plain—to oil and gas drilling. (maps available for download here and here)

Audubon is asking its one million members and supporters to contact their members of Congress and urge them to protect the Arctic Refuge from future development. 

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at  and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.


Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez,, (212) 979-3068.

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