Written by DL guest, Rachel Gurney:
Every administration since Ronald Reagan’s has made it a priority to protect the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska . Yet, right now, a proposal before Congress threatens the very resources this globally significant refuge was created to protect. Called the Alaska Peninsula Refuge and Wilderness Enhancement Act, this bill (S. 1680/H.R. 5151) will do anything but “enhance” wilderness. In fact, the Act would allow the construction of a road between the towns of King Cove and Cold Bay that would pass through the biological heart of the Izembek Refuge, fragment its irreplaceable wetlands, and put tens of thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife at risk—all at taxpayers’ expense.
The town of King Cove spent nearly $250,000 to hire Steve Silver, a lobbyist involved in many of Alaska ’s previous pork projects, to bring home the Izembek road bacon. Unless there is a broad public outcry, the Izembek proposal will be one the bills included in a huge public lands package likely to be approved by Congress in mid-November. This must not be allowed to happen! America ’s taxpayers have already spent $37.5 million to help meet King Cove’s health and safety needs. Now Congress seems willing to sacrifice the refuge to ram this unnecessary and harmful project through. Americans who care about wild places—and who are sick and tired of special-interest bills that help just a few people at taxpayers’ expense—should tell their Senators and Representatives to remove this bad bill from the H.R. 5151 package before that package comes to a vote in November. For more information, click here. [Ed note: Or read this.]