Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 19, 2017

Fed Attempt To Destroy Alaskan Wilderness

Wilderness Society News Release

Feds are trying to destroy Izembek wilderness with backroom deal

According to a story published in The Washington Post today, the Trump administration has been secretly planning a land swap between the federal government and King Cove Corporation that would allow construction of a controversial road through a designated wilderness area in Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. In response, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Alaska Regional Director Nicole Whittington-Evans:

“This is an appalling move by the Trump administration to bypass the public process and cut a sneaky, backroom deal that not only would harm Izembek Refuge, but will threaten all of our nation’s refuges, public lands, and many of our bedrock environmental laws.  This proposed road is an economic-development project for the community of King Cove, and taxpayers should be outraged at this secretive attempt to gut a globally important wildlife refuge—which belongs to all Americans—by transferring public lands to private ownership.

“The Izembek land exchange and road proposal have been considered many times—most recently through an exhaustive, scientific study by the U.S. Interior Department, which determined that the road should not be built and that it would harm the very species the refuge was established to protect,” Whittington-Evans added.

“The Army Corps of Engineers in 2015 issued a report emphasizing that several alternatives to a road would effectively meet the emergency needs of King Cove residents. If this were about medical evacuations, as road proponents claim, the government should be talking about other options that would result in faster and more reliable transportation, instead of conspiring to strip protections from the Izembek refuge.”


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