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Al Coen, Fargo, Published February 12 2014

Letter: Vote to protect Arctic refuge

A few weeks ago, an article appeared in The Forum about the influx of snowy owls from the Arctic region to this area. While the cause of the influx is unknown, it serves as an important reminder that migratory birds you see in your own backyard also depend upon critical habitat somewhere else. That somewhere else could be the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain.

The coastal plain is a vital sanctuary to birds that migrate to and through North Dakota. Permanently protecting the coastal plain is not only for the birds, polar bears and caribou that rely on it but for all of us. As North Dakotans, we need to support lasting protection for this amazing place.

That is why I would like to thank Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., for her support for protection, and ask Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to help with this effort by also co­sponsoring S.1695 – the Arctic Refuge Wilderness Act.