As Bjorn Dihle wrote in “A Tale of Two Roads” [May 2018], the proposed road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge would, indeed, threaten migratory bird populations and set a dangerous precedent for wilderness areas across the nation.
That’s too high a price for a project that is really about economic development. As Gov. Bill Walker wrote in a letter to Pres. Trump in May of 2017, the road would enable “access to health services and movement of goods and people between King Cove and Cold Bay.”
During a visit to King Cove in 2011, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “The decades-old push to get the road built between King Cove and the Cold Bay Airport so that we can have greater access for transportation is going to be a critical ingredient in that thriving economic future going out for the next 100 years.”
The globally significant wildlife values of the refuge speak for Izembek’s wilderness qualities, and Congress recognized them when it chose to protect much of the refuge as designated wilderness. Beautiful, rugged, wild places teeming with wildlife are one of the things that make Alaska special.
Alaskans—and all Americans—must take a stand to protect Izembek against the current administration’s and Sen. Murkowski’s agenda of selling off our public lands for commercial development.
Alaska Regional Director, The Wilderness Society