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E-M:/ Binder Park Zoo hosts "People of the Caribou: Protecting ANWR" 9/15



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Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davedem@hotmail.com>
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Binder Park Park Zoo hosts ?People of the Caribou:

Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?


BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN -- On September 15, 2005, at 7 p.m. the Binder Park Zoo will host a presentation by Luci Beach, Executive Director of the Gwich?in Steering Committee, entitled ?People of the Caribou: Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.? This event will focus on the significance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the Gwich?in Nation, a people whose livelihood and culture depend on the Porcupine Caribou Herd.


The Gwich?in Nation of Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada have a longstanding commitment to protecting the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which they call ?Iishik Gwats?an Gwandaii Goodlit? ? the ?Sacred Place Where Life Begins.? The coastal plain is the primary birthplace and nursery for the Porcupine Caribou Herd where 40-50,000 calves are born. The Gwich?in Nation consists of approximately 8,000 people, who live in fifteen isolated communities strategically located along the migratory paths of the caribou. The Gwich?in people rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for their physical, cultural, social, economic and spiritual needs.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was established by President Eisenhower nearly 50 years ago. It contains the greatest diversity of animal life of any conservation area in the circumpolar region. The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge, where oil drilling has been proposed, is home to the largest concentration of wildlife in the Refuge. In addition to being the primary birthplace and nursery for the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the Refuge?s coastal plain is a nesting area for 135 species of migratory birds, a denning area for polar bears, and a year-round home to the prehistoric musk oxen.


Luci Beach is Executive Director of the Gwich?in Steering Committee, an advocacy group created to inform Americans about the importance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Luci is a leader in efforts to convince Congress to continue the 50-year-history of protecting the Refuge for future generations of people and wildlife. With a significant congressional vote expected in late September that could open the Refuge to oil drilling, Luci?s perspective on this controversial issue is important and timely.


Binder Park Zoo is hosting this event so people will be aware of the debate over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

What: ?People of the Caribou: Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

Where: Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, MI

When: September 15, 2005 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Admission: Free



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