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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.
"They've decided that today was the day that they were going to declare war on Alaska. Well, we are ready to engage," said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and chair of the Senate energy committee.
The designation would set aside an additional nearly 12.3 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain near Alaska's northeast corner, giving it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands. More than 7 million acres of the refuge currently are managed as wilderness.
The issue of federal lands extends beyond Utah's borders, however. According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report, the federal government owns roughly 635 million acres of the 2.27 billion acres in the U.S
In a White House video released Sunday, Obama said he is seeking the designation "so that we can make sure that this amazing wonder is preserved for future generations."
So everyone is just jumping onto the Agenda 21 train here? No one wants to think about this rationally in that Obama is trying to save our wild lifes from deforestation and other environmentally destructive behaviors of modern society?