President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday issued a statement that they plan to “work together to help safeguard the Porcupine caribou herd calving grounds that are invaluable to the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit peoples’ culture and subsistence.”
The statement was embedded in a wide-ranging statement of shared goals, in which the two addresses climate, the Paris Agreement, Covid-19, gun violence, social media use by extremists, and more.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was mentioned specifically in the statement as being an important ecological component for the caribou.
Former President Donald Trump opened up the coastal plain area of the refuge for responsible oil exploration and drilling, something that is being put on hold by the Biden Administration.
The coastal plain sits on what is believed to be billions of barrels of crude oil that could go in to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, and could help support jobs and the general economy of Alaska as well as provide royalties to the federal government.
The statement also said that the two countries “will launch an expanded U.S.-Canada Arctic Dialogue to cover cross-cutting issues related to continental security, economic and social development, and Arctic governance.”