Nationwide Alliance Unveils Arctic Refuge Action ’Rally Van’ Tour; Vans Will Carry Arctic Refuge Message to Communities Across Northeast, Midwest
WASHINGTON -- Special vans emblazoned with images of polar bears and caribou will be crisscrossing the country this summer, mobilizing support for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The van tours were officially launched today in Washington, DC, and the first of the vans was cheered by a crowd of enthusiastic supporters as it took to the road for a six-week tour of communities across the northeastern United States. A second van is touring the upper Midwest, and is currently in Minneapolis.
“We will be carrying two messages to the people we meet,” said Rebecca Brown, one of the northeast Arctic Refuge Action van’s two drivers. “The first is that there is still time to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Congress will be voting on drilling in the fall, so now is the time to stand up for the Arctic Refuge. The second is that working together, we can accomplish that goal by making our voices heard in Washington, DC.”
The two vans will travel throughout the Northeast and Midwest this summer visiting festivals, malls, concerts, parades, and state fairs, as well as smaller community venues and gatherings, to help educate and mobilize people to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Stocked with Arctic Refuge Action books, brochures, stickers, t-shirts, bracelets and more, the rally vans are tasked with inspiring conservation-minded Americans to speak out for the Arctic Refuge. The vans supplement a network of grassroots organizers stationed in more than 20 states nationwide.
“There is no substitute for getting out and talking with the people who care about protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” said Shoren Brown, National Director of Outreach for the Alaska Coalition. “After all, it’s the voters that Congress listens to, so we’re taking this campaign directly to the grassroots, to help those voters make their voices heard in Washington.”
Van stops are currently scheduled in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Maine, and New Hampshire, although additional events and stops are being added to the schedule daily. To view photos of the vans, read biographies of the van crews, and check the latest Arctic Refuge Action Van schedules and other Arctic Refuge Action summer events, visit http://www.ArcticRefugeAction.org.
The Arctic Refuge Action coalition is organizing a rally for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Washington, DC, in September, so rally van crews will also be encouraging people in communities across the country to travel to Washington then to speak directly to their members of Congress.
The budget resolution passed by Congress this spring set the stage for a vote in September or October that could authorize oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge through the backdoor of the budget reconciliation process. In September, Congress will vote on budget reconciliation legislation that could include a provision for drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been protected for nearly a half century, not because of the politicians or even because of conservation groups, but because Americans from all walks of life have been willing to stand up and fight for this place when it most counted,” said Adam Kolton, Director of Congressional and Federal Affairs for the National Wildlife Federation.
Arctic Refuge Action (http://www.ArcticRefugeAction.org) is composed of the following member groups, and additional partner groups are being added on an ongoing basis:
The Alaska Coalition, Alaska Wilderness League; Defenders of Wildlife; the Episcopal Church, USA; The Gwich’in Steering Committee; Earthjustice; The League of Conservation Voters; The National Audubon Society; The Natural Resources Defense Council; The National Wildlife Federation; The National Wildlife Refuge Association; Northern Alaskan Environmental Center; R.E.P. America; The Sierra Club; U.S. PIRG; The Washington Association of Churches; The Wilderness Society; and The World Wildlife Fund.
ArcticRefugeAction.org is a project of SaveOurEnvironment.org -- a collaborative effort of the nation’s most influential environmental advocacy organizations harnessing the power of the internet to increase public awareness and activism on today’s most important environmental issues.
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