Ptarmigan Tracks

The Newsletter of Camp Denali,
North Face Lodge & Parkside Guest House

Online Version 2017

Alaska’s Conservation Community Doubles Down

With the past year's change in political winds, the tide has turned on many long-standing conservation challenges in Alaska. From Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the far north, movement is afoot to reverse fundamental protections to Alaska lands, wildlife and waters.

Two particular concerns with this sea-change are the lack of transparent, public process and disregard for the sound science and legal decisions that grounded prior management. For example:

  • The first-ever 2013 comprehensive plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska may soon be supplanted by a new round of planning that would seek to open up globally-significant wetlands previously withdrawn from oil and gas leasing for their ecological importance.
  • As this newsletter goes to print, a bill to allow oil and gas exploration and leasing in the ecological heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is being proposed as a source of revenue for the national budget, using tax legislation to decide the fate of a world-class wilderness.
  • This October, the EPA withdrew its own 2014 Proposed Determination about Clean Water Act protections for the Pebble Mine area, “kicking a thorough ecological risk assessment and public process out the door because of political allegiances and agendas,” writes Trustees for Alaska.

Current political agendas should not be what jeopardizes these areas' ecological integrity. Stay informed and lend your support for Alaska’s wildlife and wilderness heritage:

Audubon Alaska: for news about National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and offshore Arctic waters

Trustees for Alaska: for the latest on the Pebble Mine and the protection of Bristol Bay watersheds

Earthjustice: for further legal angles on many of Alaska’s pressing conservation issues

Back to Online Version 2017

© Tom Dietrich