You’ve risen many times to protect the Izembek Wilderness and National Wildlife Refuge from the nefarious efforts of the State of Alaska to build a road through the Wilderness. Now Izembek needs you to rise again!
Izembek Wilderness and Refuge is a remote stretch of land at the tip of the Alaska Peninsula where hundreds of thousands of migratory birds congregate each fall in Izembek Lagoon, which has one of the world’s largest eel grass beds. It’s home to massive brown bears that gorge on five species of salmon, thousands of caribou, and hundreds of sea otters and Stellar sea lions that ply the Izembek and Kinzarof Lagoons. Izembek is an internationally renowned hub of natural diversity, protected in large part because of its seclusion and lack of surrounding development. A new road bisecting Izembek would be catastrophic.
For decades, the State of Alaska and others have attempted to build a road through the Wilderness to connect the Peter Pan Seafoods cannery in King Cove to the airport in Cold Bay. Twice the Trump Administration signed illegal “agreements” with the King Cove Corporation that would have allowed the road to be built, and twice—with your support—our coalition has stopped them through the courts.
But just before the Trump administration’s departure, the State of Alaska and outgoing Secretary Bernhardt unveiled yet another attempt to push the road through—the state submitted a road application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under a new argument that King Cove is entitled to “access to inholdings” under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
And now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is on the verge of issuing the state several special use permits to begin surveys in advance of the road! If that alone isn’t bad enough, the permits would allow the state to use helicopters and ATVs for access, both of which are banned by the Wilderness Act. And get this, it doesn’t appear the FWS intends to do any environmental analysis or give the public any chance to weigh in.
Don’t stand for it! Tell the FWS to say NO, as the law demands, to this unlawful plan that threatens the Izembek Wilderness and Refuge. This is the latest attempt to build a road through Izembek for commercial interests, but time and again, science has shown that this road would harm Izembek’s irreplaceable Wilderness and wildlife. It’s imperative that we raise our voices again.
The special use permits could be issued any day. Please speak up now for Izembek!
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