Urge Secretary Salazar to Protect Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
Last week, the Department of the Interior indicated that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to reject a request to build a road through remote wilderness areas of Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
The matter now goes up to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who has 30 days to make the final determination that the road is not in the public interest.
The Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is internationally recognized for its important wetlands and wildlife habitat, and as congressionally designated Wilderness. The proposed road would have significantly damaged an ecologically sensitive and critical part of the refuge that migratory species like the Pacific Black Brant depend upon.
The Department of the Interior was faced with a difficult decision, but ultimately the Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the Izembek Refuge, has made the correct one, given the wildlife and wilderness resources at stake.
Allowing a road to be built through this pristine Wilderness would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten Wilderness protection in national wildlife refuges, parks, monuments, and other public lands across the country.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has made a responsible choice to protect the integrity of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife refuge system as a whole. Please take a moment to show your support.
Urge Secretary Salazar to protect Izembek National Wildlife Refuge!
Jamie Rappaport Clark
Defenders of Wildlife