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Stop the Road to Ruin in Alaska!

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Originally Posted: May 14, 2012

Stop the Road to Ruin in Alaska!

FROM Defenders of Wildlife

ACTION

Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service NOT to allow a road to tear through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Please take action now -- the deadline for public comments is Friday, May 18th.

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is one of Alaska's most ecologically unique refuges, with lagoons, tundra and stunning mountain peaks. This incredible habitat is home to brown bears, wolverines, caribou and other wildlife.

But federal officials are under pressure to move forward with a terrible plan to slice through this special place with an expensive, unnecessary road that would devastate fragile habitat and the wildlife that lives there.

Izembek Alaska fish and wildlife

Sign an online petition:
https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2445&autologin=true

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Vanessa Kaufman
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
phone 703/358-2138

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife, I strongly oppose the proposed land exchange that would allow a destructive and unnecessary road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and urge you to support a No Action alternative.

Izembek Refuge is a special place. More than 90 percent of the refuge is designated as Wilderness, and it is recognized as a Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention. It is one of Alaska's most ecologically unique refuges, with stunning lagoons and tundra habitat that support brown bears, wolverines, caribou and tens of thousands of migratory birds.

The proposed land exchange and destructive road that comes with it would devastate this unspoiled place. It would blaze an expensive and unnecessary road right through the heart of Izembek, disturbing the fragile habitat and sensitive wildlife that live there.

The road would also cost taxpayers at least $23.4 million and address a problem already solved by Congress in 1998.

Back then, Congress passed the King Cove Health and Safety Act that set aside $37.5 million to improve medical and transportation facilities in the community of King Cove, including a $9 million hovercraft to provide emergency marine transport to Cold Bay. The law put in place a system that has already saved lives -- and specifically prohibited a road through the Izembek's federally protected Wilderness.

The proposed land exchange and destructive road that comes with it would devastate this unspoiled place. It would blaze an expensive and unnecessary road right through the heart of Izembek, disturbing the fragile habitat and sensitive wildlife that live there.

The road would also cost taxpayers at least $23.4 million and address a problem already solved by Congress in 1998.

Back then, Congress passed the King Cove Health and Safety Act that set aside $37.5 million to improve medical and transportation facilities in the community of King Cove, including a $9 million hovercraft to provide emergency marine transport to Cold Bay. The law put in place a system that has already saved lives -- and specifically prohibited a road through the Izembek's federally protected Wilderness.

The proposed land exchange would allow for about 150 acres of designated Wilderness within Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to be withdrawn for construction of the road. Such a transfer would remove federal protections and set a terrible precedent that threatens other refuges and wilderness areas.

The road would go directly through highly sensitive habitat and would impact many vulnerable species -- including the threatened Steller's eider, nearly the entire population of Pacific black brant and emperor geese, along with grizzly bears, salmon and the other wildlife that depend on Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

I urge you to keep Izembek Refuge protected by rejecting this harmful and costly road and land exchange, and I look forward to hearing from you on this issue. 


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