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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2013

Imzembek National Wildlife Refuge To Remain Wilderness

Major Victory for Pacific Black Brant and Emperor Goose

press release form the Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife Hails Interior Department Decision to Protect Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 5, 2013) – Today, the Department of the Interior denied a request to build a road through remote wilderness areas of Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The nearby city of King Cove, Alaska (pop. 938) had been advocating building a road that would connect King Cove to Cold Bay, Alaska, a move conservation organizations feared would severely damage the refuge and set a horrible precedent for future wilderness refuge management decisions.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The Department of the Interior was faced with a very difficult decision to make on the proposed Izembek road but ultimately it has made the correct one given the wildlife and wilderness resources at stake.

“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. It also would have set a dangerous precedent for the future of wildlife refuge and wilderness area management across the country.

“Secretary Salazar takes his responsibilities for the Alaskan Native community very seriously but in this case he was not persuaded that building a road through a wilderness refuge was the best solution to a difficult problem. National wildlife refuges are special places we as a nation have set aside as safe havens for wildlife. The Interior department has made a responsible choice to protect the integrity of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife refuge system as a whole.”

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Read more at Audublog's post: Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Will Remain Wild | Alaska which mentions:

The proposed road would have cut through the biological heart of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Izembek's cold-water lagoons and internationally significant wetlands are critically-important resting places for migrating birds of many species. Virtually all of the world's Pacific Brant and more than half of the Emperor Geese stop at Izembek to feed and rest.

 

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