? Izembek Lagoon | Gerrit Vyn / Cornell Lab of Ornithology
At present, 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 permit the development of a highway.
Earlier proposals to assemble a highway by means of the ecological coronary heart of this distinctive nationwide wildlife refuge have to this point been unsuccessful as a result of vital and irreversible injury it might make to one of many world’s most crucial wetlands and waterfowl habitats. This highway would have devastating impacts on greater than half one million Pacific brant, emperor geese, swans, and different wildlife, leading to habitat fragmentation, disturbance, and air pollution. These impacts on wildlife would additionally inevitably affect subsistence searching and harvesting for Indigenous communities that depend on these sources.
The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation has labored tirelessly to guard the Izembek NWR for many years. On this renewed effort to authorize a highway, the Biden Administration perpetuates the suggestion that the Secretary of the Inside has the authority to commerce away congressionally designated wilderness to non-public 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 could be subjected to comparable trades to permit growth tasks.
These critically essential wetlands should be protected for future generations, as Congress supposed. Izembek Nationwide Wildlife is America’s most ecologically vital nationwide wildlife refuge and should be safeguarded from these continued threats. The Refuge Affiliation will proceed to work in direction of its everlasting safety.