TraditionalMountaineering Logo - the shared companionship of the Climb

Home | Information | Photos | Calendar | News | Seminars | Experiences | Questions | Updates | Books | Conditions | Links | Search

  Search this site!
Read more:

Senator Stevens (R-AK) attaches arctic refuge drilling to Defense Funding Bill!

Dear Sierra Club Supporter:
We know the battle to protect the Arctic Refuge has been long, with lots of twists and turns, but it's important for us not to lose focus at this critical moment. Here's the latest information on the battle to save the Arctic, what you can do, and a reminder of what you're fighting for.

Senator Stevens realized last week that there wasn't enough support to pass the Arctic drilling provision as part of the budget bill, so he has now attached it to the Defense Appropriations bill. Stevens -- the man who brought us "Bridges to Nowhere" -- has linked Arctic drilling to defense funding and Hurricane Katrina relief, an outrageous move that amounts to blackmail -- with hurricane victims and America's troops being held hostage.

Your Senator, Gordon Smith, will cast one of a handful of key votes on this bill, so it is especially important that you call him TODAY -- the Senate could vote as early as tomorrow on the Defense Appropriations bill. News reports indicate that Vice President Cheney is cutting a trip to the Middle East short to be back in D.C. to break a possible tie vote. It's going to be THAT CLOSE.

If you haven't called your Senator before, it can seem a little intimidating but just think of it this way... it's not nearly as scary as the idea losing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge FOREVER. It's actually pretty easy and takes less than five minutes.

1. Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to Senator Gordon Smith's office.

2. An office assistant will answer the phone. Just let them know that you are a resident of Oregon and would like to let Senator Smith know that you would like him to do everything in his power to remove Arctic drilling from the Defense bill. Let them know that Senator Stevens' attempts to hold up defense spending is a betrayal of the public's trust, an abuse of power, and is an exploitation of our troops, hurricane victims and our natural heritage. Please ask Senator Smith to filibuster the Arctic provisions if necessary.

3. The assistant may ask you for your contact information to confirm that you are indeed a resident of Oregon or so the Senator can respond to you at a later date about this issue.

That's it!

Since this battle to prevent drilling in the Arctic Refuge has been such a long one, we sometimes forget what we're fighting for. Here's a reminder (and some motivation for your call) of why drilling in the Arctic Refuge -- especially through the Defense bill -- is such a bad idea:

1. The Arctic Refuge is an amazing and inspiring place. Visitors tell of its stunning vistas, unique wildlife and untouched landscape. Scientists note the importance of the refuge as habitat for hundreds of species and the crucial role it plays in Alaska's web of life. The Gwich'in -- native Alaskans who live nearby -- depend on the caribou that give birth in the refuge for food, clothing, and spiritual sustenance. The Refuge is also an important part of American's heritage.

2. It's not worth it -- literally! Proponents of drilling in the Arctic Refuge point to rising gas prices as a reason to drill. But in reality, Arctic Refuge oil would amount to a drop in the bucket of the oil market. The U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that if we drilled for oil in the Refuge tomorrow, it would lower gas prices by roughly a penny per gallon... in 20 years.

3. Arctic drilling does not belong on the Defense bill. Senator Stevens is manipulating funding for America's troops and blackmailing Hurricane Katrina survivors: "The levees will be paid for when we drill in ANWR," said Stevens. (San Francisco Chronicle, "New Twist to Arctic Drilling Deal," 12/19/2005)

4. Even Joe Scarborough, former congressman and conservative talk show host on MSNBC, is railing against Stevens' outrageous moves: "But, in this case, I just — and it doesn't matter whether it's a Republican doing it or a Democrat doing it. To attach such a controversial bill, a bill I support — I support drilling in Alaska — but to attach this controversial...politically toxic rider to funding our troops in Baghdad, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, across the world, it's unforgivable. Call your senator today, 202-224-3121, and tell them to fight this with all the energy they have." ("Scarborough Country," 12/16/2005)

Weigh in. Be part of the decision. Let your voice be counted!

Thanks in advance for taking the time to call your Senators,

Carl Pope
Executive Director
Sierra Club

P.S. Want to do more? Please forward this email on to fellow Oregonians!

Sierra Club
85 Second St.
San Francisco, CA 94105


Here is ONDA's Alert on Senate Republican Attacks on the Environment

Final Arctic Refuge vote TOMORROW Thanks to peoples efforts to save Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, Congressional leaders dropped this controversial drilling provision from the federal budget bill.

But, Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens is trying one last, desperate move to authorize oil development in the Arctic Refuge by including it in the Defense Appropriations bill, which also contains emergency funding for Hurricane Katrina relief. This move was determined out of order according to Senate rules, but Sen. Stevens won a waiver of those rules for this bill.

The House version of this bill passed Monday, so now our last chance is to stop it in the Senate.

There is still time to make a difference, and Oregon’s Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith are key to the final outcome.

Please call Senators Wyden and Smith and urge them to vote no on the Defense bill if it contains the Arctic drilling provision. Please ask both Senators to support a filibuster of the Defense bill until the Arctic drilling provision is removed and not to allow Senator Stevens to suspend "Senate Rule 28".

Senator Gordon Smith Washington office: (202)244-3753 Portland office: (503)326-3386

Senator Ron Wyden Washington office: (202)224-5244 Portland office: (503)326-7525


Anti-Endangered Species Bill in Senate Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) has introduced a bill that would dramatically undermine the Endangered Species Act. Senate bill S. 2110, cynically titled the "Collaboration and Recovery of Endangered Species Act" would:

Leave species listing and habitat protection entirely at the discretion of the Bush administration,
Allow developers to destroy habitat for one species if they buy habitat for another,
Allow developers and industry interests to rewrite recovery plans by biologists,
Make recovery plans voluntary,
Eliminates federal review of projects that harm endangered species,
Give tax breaks to developers without any conservation or habitat in return.
Sen. Crapo introduced this bill in the midst of Congress's end-of-the-year rush, hoping to sneak this bill through the Senate Finance Committee in order to avoid the Environment and Public Works Committee that usually oversees endangered species issues.

Let your senators know that they need to oppose any bill that would undermine endangered species protections. Urge them to protect endangered wildlife and plants by opposing S. 2110.

You can contact your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season! Thank you for your dedicated support of ONDA.
The mission of the Oregon Natural Desert Association is to protect, defend and restore the health of Oregon’s native deserts
December 20, 2005


Senator Stevens Defeated!

"Drilling in the Arctic:
When they couldn't get Arctic drilling through the Senate on a fair vote, the Republican leadership tried to force it through by bundling it with this year's defense spending. Their strategy: paint Democrats who opposed Arctic drilling as anti-troop. But Washington Senator Maria Cantwell led the rest of the Democratic senators in a bold move to block the Republican maneuver, protecting the Artic without endangering funding for our troops. Moderate Republicans assisted and blocked the vote to end debate by Senator Frist, MD.

How you helped: MoveOn members helped make this victory possible by phoning in over 7,000 calls in key states, and writing over 7,500 letters, like this one:

Vote no on the provision concerning drilling in Alaska for oil. Place such items in the correct bills and do not try to hoodwink the people."
– Jerry, IL"


Note: We watched this drama unfold on C-Span all day yesterday: There is a big difference between the "news" reported on the big corporate stations (NBC and CBS, etc.) and what actually transpired on the floor of the Senate. Senator Stevens almost cried as he explained how his carefully crafted amendment offered pork to Senators from many states. He said he would go to those states and tell the people how their Senators failure to support him lost them billions of pork dollars. He said he never required Senators vote with him, but he did say he "advised them on how they should vote" to get these crafty funds. He appeared to resign from the Senate at the end of his emotional, rambling statement! Senator Stevens has been discredited. This is not his first trick Read More:  Fee Demo program made permanent through last minute political deal!





Read more:
Fee Demo program made permanent through last minute political deal!
Times Up, by Yvon Chouinard

  About Alpine Mountaineering:
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit    Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

Outdoor folks can help Katrina incident victims now!
An update on the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge in Oregon
The Store Wars   best with broadband!
TraditionalMountaineering adopts the Crooked River through Smith Rock State Park
The Republican Political Party is responsible?
Times Up, by Yvon Chouinard
Nation's forests might be on the road to ruin, by President Bill Clinton
Wilderness at risk from new Bush policies
Steens management scandal may affect wilderness study areas
BLM outsourced Steens Management Plan to mining industry leaders!
Owyhee River wilderness study area inventory with ONDA
OHV vandals charged in Yellowstone
Oregon's B and B Complex fire closure modified
Senate says NO to Big Oil in Alaska
Gloria Flora - Environmental Hero
Re-introducing wolves into Oregon
George Bush overlooking the environment

  About our World Wide Website:


Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can in part, be mitigated


The Three Sisters and Broken Top
South Sister, Middle Sister, North Sister (the sinister sister) and Broken Top in the Three Sisters Wilderness near Bend, Oregon USA
Photo Copyright© 2004 - 2006 by Robert Speik. All rights reserved.