Help save wild Colorado's archeological treasures

The Bush administration wants to sacrifice more than one million acres of outstanding wildlife habitat and archeological sites in northwest Colorado to destructive oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle use.

We need your immediate action to block this proposal, which would cause irreparable damage to fragile wildlands including the world-renowned Vermillion Basin, home to one of the most spectacular collections of ancient petroglyphs in the country.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and tell the Bush administration to protect our natural and cultural heritage by banning harmful drilling and off-road vehicle use in the Vermillion Basin and all other wilderness-quality lands in this region.

People from all over the world seek out the Vermillion Basin and nearby Little Snake wildlands for outdoor recreation, wildlife-viewing and its natural beauty. The Little Snake area provides habitat for elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes and white-tailed prairie dogs. The waters of this region sustain the endangered Colorado River Pikeminnow and the Colorado River cutthroat trout. Greater sage grouse, golden eagles and peregrine falcons also take refuge there.

Yet the Bush administration has proposed stripping existing wildlife protections from these lands and opening virtually the entire area to drilling and off-road vehicles. This scheme also fails to protect the region's irreplaceable historical and archeological treasures.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and urge the administration to safeguard these sensitive wildlands for future generations.

Thank you for helping to protect the natural and cultural values of our last western wildlands.

Sincerely,

Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council

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Help block drilling in a Colorado wildlife refuge

The Bush administration is poised to allow two giant energy companies to drill exploratory oil and gas wells up to 14,000 feet beneath Colorado's spectacular Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

Last year, BioGems Defenders and other NRDC online activists sent more than 48,000 messages protesting this destructive drilling scheme. Despite this outcry, the Bush administration is moving forward with the plan, which could pave the way for massive industrialization of the Baca Refuge.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and tell the Bush administration to halt the Baca oil and gas project until a thorough study of its potentially devastating environmental impacts is carried out.

The Baca refuge is an important calving ground for deer and elk and provides a natural sanctuary for imperiled wildlife, including the ferruginous hawk, the threatened burrowing owl, the greater and lesser sandhill crane and the Rio Grande sucker, an endangered fish. Over 4,000 elk depend on the area for critical winter habitat and calving grounds to shelter newborns.

Thousands of migrating birds visit the refuge each spring and fall, and hundreds of ancient Native American artifacts lie buried under ancient layers of sand. World-class archeological sites dating back some 11,500 years have been found nearby.

The proposed drilling project threatens to transform this irreplaceable wildland into an industrial zone -- contaminating air, land and waterways and unleashing a barrage of drilling-related traffic and noise. Even the adjacent Great Sand Dunes National Park could be at risk.

Energy companies currently own the rights to oil and gas reserves beneath the refuge. But the Bush administration has the authority to block reckless and destructive industrialization on these lands.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and demand that the Bush administration protect the Baca National Wildlife Refuge from the far-reaching impacts of oil and gas drilling.

Thank you for helping to protect our last remaining Rocky Mountain wildlife habitats.

Sincerely,

Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council



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