‘The Republicans have always wanted to have drilling’ in calving grounds, Larry Bagnell says
CBC News <http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> Posted: Nov 10, 2016 1:42 PM CT Last Updated: Nov 10, 2016 1:52 PM CT
The Porcupine herd is one of the largest migratory barren ground caribou herds in North America. Its range stretches from Alaska to Yukon. <http://i.cbc.ca/1.3320779.1447685936%21/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/porcupine-caribou.jpg>
The Porcupine herd is one of the largest migratory barren ground caribou herds in North America. Its range stretches from Alaska to Yukon. (Meagan Deuling/CBC)
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell believes Donald Trump’s victory does not bode well for one of the last thriving caribou herds in the North — the Porcupine caribou.
Bagnell says Trump’s winning the U.S. presidency, along with Republican victories in the Senate and Congress, will make protecting the herd’s calving grounds in Alaska from oil drilling “difficult.”
“The Republicans have always wanted to have drilling there, which would upset the life cycle of the herd,” Bagnell said.
The Porcupine herd is one of the largest migratory barren ground caribou herds in North America. Its range stretches from Alaska’s North Slope into northern Yukon. The size of the herd fluctuates but the last population estimate, from 2013, put the herd at about 197,000 animals.
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell says the new U.S. administration is going to make efforts to protect the Porcupine herd ‘difficult.’ (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)
Many Indigenous people in Alaska and Yukon rely on the herd for food, and have lobbied for decades to ensure the herd’s calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) are protected from development. The area is rich in untapped oil.
President George W. Bush pushed to open the area to development, and Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill last year that would have permitted oil production in the refuge.
President Barack Obama, however, sought to expand the protected area <http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/barack-obama-to-seek-protecting-alaska-arctic-refuge-from-drilling-1.2931246> .
Bagnell says now that Republicans will control the agenda in Washington, “it’s going to make that more challenging.”