Proposed Legislation Threatens Teshekpuk Lake
A Globally Significant Area for Migratory Waterfowl & Other Important Habitat Areas in Alaska's Arctic
Eric Myers testified about House Bill 2150 before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on June 16. The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to hold lease sales annually in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
Read the full Audubon testimony.
“At more than 22 million acres, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) is larger than 12 states and the largest tract of public land in the Nation. Audubon believes that within such a vast landscape it is entirely appropriate that there be a balance of development and conservation. In keeping with the American land ethic, Congress has long recognized that in the NPRA the value of the Nation’s public lands includes more than the just the wealth and economic gain that can be extracted.”
“Congress specifically identified Teshekpuk Lake and the Utukok River Uplands as deserving of ‘maximum protection’ in 1976. Past presidential administrations as philosophically disparate as those of former President Jimmy Carter and former President George W. Bush have embraced the need for protecting these areas.”
“The legislative proposal under consideration today would completely abandon balance, compel oil and gas leasing in areas irrespective of their exceptional biological value or sensitivity. It would effectively turn over America’s Arctic to the oil industry.”
“Extraordinary biological values found in the NPRA include the concentrated calving grounds of two caribou herds; essential nesting, molting, and staging habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds; vital habitat for various marine mammals including walrus and polar bear; internationally-recognized raptor concentrations; and exceptional predator populations including grizzly bears, wolves, and wolverine.”
Policy Director, Audubon Alaska