Anchorage, Alaska—Today Audubon Alaska submitted scoping comments to the Bureau of Land Management for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 (GMT2) drilling project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (Reserve). The Integrated Activity Plan (Plan), adopted in 2013, authorized development of 72% of the commercially-recoverable oil and gas while protecting crucial, sensitive parts of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (Reserve), and this project needs to follow those guidelines and requirements embodied in the Plan. Parts of the Reserve, including the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, are home to caribou herds, millions of migratory birds, polar bears, and other Arctic wildlife species.
Susan Culliney, Policy Associate at Audubon Alaska, said: “Development projects like GMT2 will continue to take place under the balanced approach in the 2013 Plan. Our challenge is to ensure that development projects embrace Best Management Practices, minimize environmental damage, and address how a single project contributes to the cumulative effects on a landscape scale.” Audubon Alaska’s scoping comments urged the agency to pay close attention to issues related to: conservation areas and species of concern; riparian buffers and reducing human activity and pollution on wildlife; applying research and monitoring and increasing appropriate access to public data; opportunities for roadless development; cumulative impacts; application of mitigation strategies; and acknowledgment of carbon emissions and climate change.
Since 1977, Audubon Alaska's mission is to conserve the spectacular natural ecosystems of the state, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Audubon Alaska uses science to identify conservation priorities and support conservation actions and policies, with an emphasis on public lands and waters. www.AudubonAlaska.org
Now in its second century, the National Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. Audubon Alaska, a state office of the National Audubon Society, has worked to conserve birds in the state since 1977.