???? Izembek Lagoon | Gerrit Vyn / Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Right now, the Division of the Inside (DOI) issued a Discover of Intent to organize a Supplemental Environmental Impression Assertion for a possible land change within the Izembek Nationwide Wildlife Refuge (NWR) that might permit the development of a highway.
Earlier proposals to assemble a highway via the ecological coronary heart of this distinctive nationwide wildlife refuge have up to now been unsuccessful as a result of vital and irreversible harm it will make to one of many world’s most important wetlands and waterfowl habitats. This highway 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 affect subsistence looking 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 highway, 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 improvement tasks. Such authority would implicate all of Alaska’s protected lands, setting a precedent that different wilderness areas may be subjected to related trades to permit improvement tasks.
These critically essential wetlands should be protected for future generations, as Congress meant. 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.