Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Save the Polar Bears

Sierra Club is asking those who care to sign a petition to save polar bears.

"Just two weeks ago the Department of the Interior took a strong first step in protecting the threatened polar bear by proposing a large area of America’s Arctic as critical habitat for the bear – including the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, and extensive barrier islands. However, only days before this announcement, the very same Interior Department approved a drilling plan for Shell Oil in key polar bear habitat in the Beaufort Sea.That’s why I’m asking you to sign our petition today.

We are asking you to send two clear messages to the US Fish and Wildlife Service:
1) We strongly support their designation of critical habitat for the polar bear, and
2) While designating critical habitat is a strong first step, they must also do what is necessary to stop harmful activities such as oil drilling in the polar bear’s habitat.

There are less than 60 days left in the comment period, so the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to hear from you NOW – they need to know that we support the designation of critical habitat designation. But we also need to let them know that this will NOT be enough to protect the polar bear if we fail to address climate change and reduce other threats to the bear’s habitat, such as oil drilling. Tell the USFWS that it must take additional actions now to ensure that the polar bear gets REAL protection by not allowing risky, aggressive oil development to move forward in areas that have been recognized as crucial for the bear’s future.There is no question that polar bears are in trouble. Survival rates for polar bear cubs are plunging. Bears that are accustomed to hunting on ice have been stranded on land, and in some cases have drowned. Scientists warn that without protection, polar bears could disappear by 2050.We need to do everything possible to help polar bears survive – that means establishing critical habitat for them AND eliminating the threat of offshore drilling. Please sign our petition today!"

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