Today, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) introduced the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act to address the threat that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge places on the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population, especially by increasing the risk of death to newborn polar bear cubs sheltered in maternal dens.
In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director, Arctic Program:
“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of America’s most majestic public lands and is vital to the survival of the endangered Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Approximately three-quarters of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge is known to be important habitat for polar bears. Mother polar bears with cubs are increasingly denning in this area as sea ice denning habitat declines due to a warming climate. As the Administration tries to rush oil exploration and development in the Refuge, we must act now to protect polar bears for future generations.
“This bill follows the science and would provide a critical safeguard for this increasingly important polar bear maternal denning habitat, as the Administration attempts to move forward with a damaging plan to lease and develop one of our nation’s most sacred places.”