Participating in American democracy

(L to r) Walter Peter (Gwich'in Indian from Fort Yukon, Alaska), Congressman Rick Nolan, Lois Norrgard of Alaska Wilderness League and Bob Walz of North Branch.

(L to r) Walter Peter (Gwich’in Indian from Fort Yukon, Alaska), Congressman Rick Nolan, Lois Norrgard of Alaska Wilderness League and Bob Walz of North Branch.

To the editor

I’ve just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in our American democracy.  As a volunteer for Alaska Wilderness League, I learned more about issues affecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the Tongass National Forest, and the dual threat posed by climate change and drilling to the habitat of polar bears and other marine wildlife in the Arctic Ocean.

I had the opportunity to meet with Representative Rick Nolan and US Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. I would like to thank them for taking the time to sit down with me. The future of wild Alaska is important to all Americans because these public lands and waters belong to all of us.

I thank Representative Nolan for cosponsoring the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 139.) This legislation will permanently protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as Wilderness.  We owe that to future generations.

I also met with Representatives Tim Walz, Betty McCollum and staff from Eric Paulsen’s Office. Representatives McCollum and Ellison are co-sponsors of this bipartisan legislation. I talked at length with staff from Representatives Walz and Paulsen’s offices. We discussed the possibility of a joint, bipartisan press conference announcing their bipartisan support for HR. 139. Representative Paulsen votes with Representative Walz about half the time.

 

Robert G. Walz

North Branch

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