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Chuck Clusen, Director, National Parks and Alaska Projects, Washington, DC

Chuck Clusen

I have worked as an environmental advocate for thirty-five years specializing in federal public lands, Wilderness, national parks and Alaska. In the 1970’s I organized and led the Alaska Coalition pushing the Congress to pass the Alaska National Interest Lands Act of 1980 which created over a 100 million acres of national parks and wildlife refuges and an additional 56 million acres of Wilderness in the state. In addition, I was a leader in getting Congress to pass over 14 million acres of Wilderness in the Lower 48, fought former Interior Secretary James Watt over his exploitative policies, ran the Adirondack Council and have now worked at NRDC for 19 years on Alaska lands, national parks and a wide variety of public lands issues.

Recent Posts

The Final Frontier: Canada's National Energy Board Raises the Specter of Deep Offshore Drilling in the Arctic Ocean

Posted July 18, 2014 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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This blog post was co-authored by Joshua Axelrod. Last week, Canada’s major oil and gas regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), acquiesced to the requests of two of the world’s largest oil companies—Imperial Oil (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) and Chevron—by...continued

NRDC Victory! Final Yellowstone Winter Use Plan Released:

Posted October 29, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Curbing Pollution, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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NPS final winter use regulation guarantees a cleaner, quieter national park By the 1990’s a casual practice starting in the 1960’s of allowing snowmobiles onto the unplowed roads of Yellowstone National Park had become a significant environmental nightmare. Hundreds of...continued

Vote Yes on Proposition 4 in New York

Posted October 24, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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On the ballots of voters across New York State this November, in addition to whatever local contests there are in your community, will be several proposed amendments to the New York State constitution.  Many voters often overlook such proposals, which...continued

Vote No on Proposition 5 in New York

Posted October 24, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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On the ballots of voters across New York State this November, in addition to whatever local contests there are in your community, will be several proposed amendments to the New York State constitution.  Many voters often overlook such proposals, which...continued

What Happens in the Arctic Unfortunately Is Not Staying in the Arctic

Posted June 7, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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What Happens in the Arctic Unfortunately Is Not Staying in the Arctic: The Arctic Ice Pack May Be as Important to Us People as to the Polar Bears.  Its Melting Must Be Brought Under Control.  Oil and Gas Activities Contribute...continued

Unbelievable! Shell Grounded the Kulluk Drill Rig a Fortnight ago -- Now Shell Has Been Cited by EPA for Numerous Clean Air Violations

Posted January 11, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Shell’s rush to drill in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the Chukchi Sea not only produced another blunder this month, when its Kulluk drill rig, carrying 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel...continued

No Study Needed: Shell's Arctic Blunders Show Obama Administration Should Halt Arctic Drilling Immediately

Posted January 8, 2013 by Chuck Clusen in Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil, Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, Solving Global Warming

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Special thanks to Jeff Benzak for helping draft this blog Royal Dutch Shell’s beaten and battered drill rig is currently anchored in a remote, pristine bay on the east side of Kodiak Island, Alaska. Pretty though it may be, Kiliuda...continued

Safeguarding America's Wildest Land

Posted December 19, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Visiting Alaska’s Western Arctic Reserve is a most unique experience which I have had the great pleasure to do several times. It is the largest public land unit in the nation, extremely diverse, the most remote, and, no doubt, with...continued

These Pictures are Worth Many Thousands of Words

Posted October 17, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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NRDC’s OnEarth magazine has posted a fantastic article by Douglas Fischer that features amazing images by Gary Braasch showing just how close Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk, is to the shoreline of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Click here for...continued

Caroline Cannon and the Native Village of Point Hope Fight for Their Way of Life

Posted October 16, 2012 by Chuck Clusen

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In September, just days after the lowest ever Arctic sea ice minimum was recorded, Caroline Cannon participated on a panel at Greenpeace’s Polar Emergency event in New York City, bringing first-hand experience of the effects of Arctic melt to the...continued

Total Sizes Up Shell's Game

Posted October 2, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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It isn’t often that an oil industry executive speaks out against oil exploration. Yet last week, the Financial Times reported that French oil giant Total’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, claimed the risk of an oil spill in [the Arctic]...continued

Time to Save the Western Arctic Reserve of Alaska

Posted September 27, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Last month, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the Bureau of Land Management’s preferred alternative, the “B-2” alternative, for the first area-wide Integrated Activity Plan developed for Western Arctic Reserve, formally known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.  The Reserve...continued

Shell's Greatest Hits (Misses) of 2012: Arctic Drilling Not Ready for Primetime

Posted September 20, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Shell’s announcement that it will not drill into oil bearing zones this year comes as welcome news to those of us who work to protect the Arctic Ocean. Far too little is known about the ecosystems of this region. We must...continued

Shell Flees from Floes

Posted September 13, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Moving Beyond Oil, Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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After nearly two months of delays, Shell began exploratory drilling of the Chukchi Sea floor in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning. By noon on Monday, encroaching sea ice had forced the company to halt drilling, disconnect from its well...continued

Obama Administration Considering Extending Shell's Season, Mother Nature Not So Lenient

Posted August 31, 2012 by Chuck Clusen in Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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With BSEE’s (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) announcement Thursday that despite the company’s lack of a tested oil containment system on-site, it would allow Shell to proceed with preparatory well-site work and top hole drilling. The Obama Administration’s decision...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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