January 2, 2006

International Notes

WASHINGTON, DC-By a very narrow margin, the U.S. Senate recently voted to block a section of defence legislation that would have authorized oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska. Conservationists in both the U.S. and Canada have hailed the defeat of the measure as an important, even if short-term, victory for wildlife and aboriginal peoples in both countries. U.S. environmental groups said they fully expect the pro-drilling forces to try again to push legislation through. Credit for the conservation is being attributed to the efforts of the Gwich'in people who depend on the Porcupine caribou herd, the government of Canada for its consistent opposition to drilling, and a handful of U.S. Senators (including Republicans, who went against party policy), as well as to campaigns by conservation groups such as World Wildlife Fund (in U.S. and Canada) and the Alaska Wilderness League.

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