The Department of the Interior signed an agreement to trade away internationally recognized, congressionally designated wilderness wetlands in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to allow construction of a destructive and unnecessary road. The secretive and legally dubious deal with King Cove Corporation removes federal land from public ownership and strips vital protections from essential habitat for migratory birds, brown bears, caribou and salmon.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:
“Even during a government shutdown, the Trump administration continues its war on wildlife and wildlands. This is the latest and among the most egregious examples of the administration selling out irreplaceable public wildlands for commercial gain. Izembek National Wildlife Refuge protects some of the world’s most unique, fragile and essential wildlife habitat, but this administration thinks nothing of bulldozing a road through the middle of it, scarring the refuge forever. Izembek Refuge belongs to all Americans, and we will fight this illegal backroom deal that would irreparably damage this vital wilderness preserve in court.”