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Headlines      Alaska: Obama Administration To Be Sued Over Polar Bear Sanctuary
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22 December 2010
 
Alaska: Obama Administration To Be Sued Over Polar Bear Sanctuary
 
Yesterday the State of Alaska filed notice of their intention to sue the Obama Administration if the Federal Government refused to withdraw plans to designate 187,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of land as Polar Bear sanctuary.
 
The land and ice that hugs the northern coast of Alaska is seen as crucial for the long term survival of the polar bear whom are not so much seen as endangered, but the population is seen as threatened.
 
The best estimates of the number of polar bears is that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 roaming around the polar regions of the world.
 
Yet their survival is now threatened more so, than by anything else than that of the melting of the Arctic ice and global warming.
 
With the land is deemed “critical” for the survival of the polar bear, it’s raised the age old contentious issue of how to balance the needs of industry and commerce with that of the long term survival of a species. 
 
One the one hand you have the encroachment of the habitat of the bears by mining and industry while the reduction in ice slowly withdraws leaving reduced land and ice needed for the survival of these magnificent creatures.
 
And so, now the lines have been drawn as the State of Alaska have advised the US Federal Government they have 60 days to withdraw the proposal or amend the legislation. 
 
Leading the Alaskan charge against the federal government has been Republican Governor Sean Parnell who argued strongly against the federal case. 
 
While the legislation will not block industry outright.  Before economic activity begins, whether that be mining or even drilling in the oil and gas rich region the impact the polar bears would need to be considered.
 
According the Parnell, already legislation has been enacted at the state and federal level to protect polar bears including their listing under the Endangered Species Act.
 
The wait maybe more than we can bear.
 

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References:

http://www.adn.com/2010/12/21/1614996/state-of-alaska-to-sue-over-polar.html

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18121378&ps=rs

http://www.nrdc.org/media/2010/101124.asp

 

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