📷 Izembek Lagoon | Gerrit Vyn / Cornell Lab of Ornithology
As we speak, the Division of the Inside (DOI) issued a Discover of Intent to arrange a Supplemental Environmental Influence Assertion for a possible land trade within the Izembek Nationwide Wildlife Refuge (NWR) that may enable the development of a street.
Earlier proposals to assemble a street by the ecological coronary heart of this distinctive nationwide wildlife refuge have up to now been unsuccessful because of the important and irreversible injury it could make to one of many world’s most crucial wetlands and waterfowl habitats. This street would have devastating impacts on greater than half 1,000,000 Pacific brant, emperor geese, swans, and different wildlife, leading to habitat fragmentation, disturbance, and air pollution. These impacts on wildlife would additionally inevitably influence subsistence searching and harvesting for Indigenous communities that depend on these assets.
The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation has labored tirelessly to guard the Izembek NWR for many years. On this renewed effort to authorize a street, the Biden Administration perpetuates the suggestion that the Secretary of the Inside has the authority to commerce away congressionally designated wilderness to personal events to permit roads or different growth tasks. Such authority would implicate all of Alaska’s protected lands, setting a precedent that different wilderness areas will be subjected to comparable trades to permit growth tasks.
These critically vital wetlands should be protected for future generations, as Congress meant. Izembek Nationwide Wildlife is America’s most ecologically important nationwide wildlife refuge and should be safeguarded from these continued threats. The Refuge Affiliation will proceed to work in direction of its everlasting safety.