Rep. Boehner claims Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains no wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife recommends an eye exam

(07/15/2008) -

WASHINGTON – At a news conference today, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio made it clear that his fact-finding trip to Alaska is in fact a publicity stunt aimed at undermining supporters of the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“We’re going to look at this barren, Arctic desert where I'm hoping to see some wildlife,” Boehner told reporters. “But I understand there’s none there. But I’m still going to look for it. If I find any, I’ll let you know,” said Rep. Boehner.

The following is a statement from Robert Dewey, vice president for government affairs at Defenders of Wildlife:

“Our wildlife viewing experience has shown that it’s always hard to see wildlife if you tour their habitats with your eyes closed. We’d like to point out that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, described by the Fish and Wildlife Service as having ‘some of the most diverse and spectacular wildlife in the Arctic,’ shelters polar bears, a herd of over 123,000 porcupine caribou, over 160 species of migratory birds, and many other species including musk ox, wolves and brown bears.

“Too bad Rep. Boehner has chosen to write off this spectacular wildlife haven before setting a foot on the ground there. Maybe if Rep. Boehner opens his eyes – and his mind – long enough, he might get to see the Arctic Refuge for the national treasure it is.”

For the facts on the wildlife of the Arctic, visit 


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit



Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270