The Trump administration announced its plan to open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development, a move that overturns six decades of protections for the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the United States. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said that the department will auction for leases for drilling by the end of the year.

“We are appalled by the Trump administration’s decision to open up pristine wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling,” said Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks. “This move will not only harm wildlife habitat, it will contribute to the worsening climate crisis and further threaten our ability to protect endangered species.

This landscape is, by definition, a refuge for hundreds of different species. It is not a place for oil and gas drilling.”