Today, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar released the final decision of an integrated activity plan for oil and gas leasing and conservation for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
You can read the 114-page report here. Background on the controversy around it and potential threats to wildlife here.
The basics: 11.8 million acres will be available for oil and gas leasing, and “application for pipelines and other infrastructure necessary.” Also, protects 11 million acres, specifically 3.1 million acres within Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, ” thereby protecting critical areas for sensitive bird populations”.
More to unpack with this. But for now, some reax. From National Audobon Society CEO David Yarnold, who calls it a victory, in a post on its website:
“By protecting 11 million acres of Arctic wetlands and wildlife nurseries, this decision proves that sound energy policy and conservation can go hand in hand. And not only that, they must. We strongly endorse the plan as a victory for birds, wildlife, and America’s future. It says that some places really are too precious to drill, and there’s no better example than the Teshekpuk Lake area, one of the planet’s most prolific bird factories.”