Refuges Still at Risk

With military costs mushrooming, the Bush administration has had little cash to tend to the ailing national wildlife refuge system (see "Seeking Sanctuary," features, March/April 2003), according to a new report by Defenders of Wildlife.

"The threats to the system are larger in scope, more difficult to control, more damaging and more costly than ever before," says Defenders president Rodger Schlickeisen.

According to Defenders" report "Refuges at Risk," the most pervasive threat is escalating development inside and close to refuges. While active and decommissioned oil and gas wells on one out of five refuges are polluting habitat, Bush wants to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.