Federal plan for development of nation’s oil reserve recognizes habitat values, hunting and angling interests in fish- and wildlife-rich region.
WASHINGTON – A plan outlining development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska released this afternoon by the Department of the Interior won praise from sportsmen for its responsible approach and acknowledgment of the region’s unique fish and wildlife values, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced today.
The federal government’s direction for the reserve, which encompasses valuable energy resources, abundant fish and wildlife populations and important areas of habitat, was released today in its record of decision document. The TRCP and other sportsmen’s groups had submitted comments and recommendations on the draft plan and supported a management alternative that has been adopted in the ROD.
“The remoteness of the National Petroleum Reserve not only provides outstanding breeding conditions for a wide range of wildlife species but offers a unique recreational experience for those who visit the area to hunt and fish,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh. “Sportsmen are invested in sustaining these outdoor opportunities.”
Located on Alaska’s North Slope and nearly 23 million acres in size, the NPR-A contains extraordinarily valuable fish and wildlife habitat. Millions of migratory birds use the area around Teshekpuk Lake for nesting, molting and staging and migrate throughout the United States to winter in nearly every state. The Utukok River Uplands also provide key habitat for the Western Arctic caribou herd, the largest in Alaska, currently estimated at 348,000 animals. The reserve is the single-largest block of federally managed land in the United States.
“We are pleased by the administration’s announcement of its integrated plan for the region – a plan that sacrifices very little in terms of oil production yet still conserves the special areas important to wildlife and to sportsmen,” continued Fosburgh. “This is the responsible approach.”
“Sportsmen should applaud the BLM’s decision to manage the NPR-A in a balanced fashion,” said Scott Hed, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. “The chosen alternative conserves critical wildlife habitat while allowing for responsible development in appropriate areas. The NPR-A can provide energy as well as Alaska’s largest caribou herd, migratory waterfowl that are hunted all over the lower 48 states, and other wildlife resources. America can benefit from this decision – and not at the expense of our hunting and angling heritage.”
The TRCP supports the responsible development of oil and gas resources in appropriate areas. The TRCP’s guiding principles on this issue, “FACTS for Fish and Wildlife,” offer an approach to energy development that upholds the nation’s natural resources and unique outdoors legacy.
“The plan adopted by this record of decision for the NPR-A demonstrates many of the key principles of balanced, responsible energy development supported by the TRCP and other sportsmen’s organizations,” said Ed Arnett, director of the TRCP Center for Responsible Energy Development. “We will continue to work to ensure that these important areas are managed sustainably with sportsmen’s values in mind.”
Learn more about the TRCP’s “FACTS for Fish and Wildlife” and approach to responsible energy development.
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