???? Izembek Lagoon | Gerrit Vyn / Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Right now, 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 might permit the development of a highway.
Earlier proposals to assemble a highway by way of the ecological coronary heart of this distinctive nationwide wildlife refuge have to this point been unsuccessful as a result of vital and irreversible harm it could 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 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 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 might be subjected to comparable trades to permit growth tasks.
These critically vital wetlands have to be protected for future generations, as Congress supposed. Izembek Nationwide Wildlife is America’s most ecologically vital nationwide wildlife refuge and have to be safeguarded from these continued threats. The Refuge Affiliation will proceed to work in the direction of its everlasting safety.