Quantcast

DOI to Allow Road Construction Inside National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Animals
Red fox at Kinzarof Lagoon, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Kristine Sowl, USFWS / Flickr

The Interior Department has reached a deal with a remote Alaskan village to construct a controversial road through a national wildlife refuge.

Local officials from King Cove in the Aleutian Islands said last week that the Interior Department has approved a land swap that would allow the village to build a 12-mile gravel road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge that will connect the village to the nearby town of Cold Bay.


The proposed road, which would cut through key habitat for grizzly bear, caribou and other species, has been a political flash point for decades. Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's move to allow the road will overturn a 2013 decision by then-Interior Sec. Sally Jewell to block the road's construction.

As reported by the Washington Post:

"Randi Spivak, who directs the public lands program for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in an email that the advocacy group was prepared to challenge the agreement in federal court if it is finalized. The proposed project, she argued, would probably run afoul of the Wilderness Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

'Bulldozing a road through the heart of the refuge violates federal laws designed to protect Alaska's pristine wild places,' Spivak said. 'Zinke's backroom deal is an end run around Congress and will destroy world-class wetlands critical to millions of migrating birds, bears and other wildlife. Once it's destroyed, we'll never get it back.'"

In a press release, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark said, "We will not stand by while some of the world's most vital wildlife habitat is ripped from public ownership to satisfy commercial interests. We will challenge this illegal scam in federal court."

For a deeper dive:

Washington Post, New York Times, KTOO, KUCB, KTUU

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Jared Kaufman

Eating a better diet has been linked with lower levels of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. But unfortunately 821 million people — about 1 in 9 worldwide — face hunger, and roughly 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. In addition, food insecurity is associated with even higher health care costs in the U.S., particularly among older people. To help direct worldwide focus toward solving these issues, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and undernutrition by 2030.

Read More Show Less
Healthline

Made from the freshly sprouted leaves of Triticum aestivum, wheatgrass is known for its nutrient-dense and powerful antioxidant properties.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less

mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less