Protecting wildlife reserves

Hope Martin, Reporter

Recently, there has been a major issue being discussed in the media regarding the sale and drilling of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska. However, it was brought to the attention of many and people are trying to prevent the company, Shell, from entering and drilling on the reserve by signing petitions and participating in other efforts.  

There are many concerns about the effects of drilling into reserves such as the ANWR. One of the biggest issues with drilling on a wildlife reserve is that drilling into the ground brings negative consequences for the environment 

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are five major issues with Arctic drilling. One being if something were to go wrong, the nearest rescue team is hundreds of miles away. This would make it extremely difficult for a rescue team to arrive at the scene quickly and resolve the issue.  Another problem is there is no easy way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic making it detrimental if an oil spoil were to happen. Additionally, the local people who live in the area rely on a healthy environment. If drilling occurred in their environment, living conditions would not be safe for the citizens or the animals. Another major issue is the region’s animal population is already suffering from  various issues surrounding climate change, so A potential oil spill would ultimately destroy their habitat. And finally, our society needs to be drilling less, not more in order to protect the environment. 

Carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels is already disrupting our climate and the health of our oceans, putting our human and natural systems in peril,” World Wildlife Fund stated.

Another major issue is that if drilling companies have the ability to drill in the Arctic wildlife reserve, then other drilling companies will attempt to move into more wildlife reserves.

As a society, many believe that there is an unlimited supply of resources. However, some  people do not  realize that resources are limited and we are using an unreasonable amount of our planet’s resources. If one company has the ability to drill in a  wildlife reserve so easily, what will stop other companies from destroying other wildlife reserves? The reason wildlife reserves have been established is to protect and preserve them for future generations. Society falls further away from this goal by allowing drilling companies to enter and destroy these habitats. 

Drilling in these areas does not only have negative effects on the environment, but it also has negative effects on both the animals and people living in the area. 

Several wildlife reserves have indigenous peoples that live around the area. If something were to go wrong during the drilling process, it would not only affect the environment but the people that live by the reserve. These indigenous people rely on the resources that the environment produces. If the oil would get into those resources, such as their water system, it could lead to negative consequences on the people and the animals. 

Let’s do our part in helping the future generations by doing our best to educate ourselves and others about protecting wildlife reservations and making other efforts to save the environment.