Despite a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recommend the “no action” alternative for an unnecessary and ecologically damaging road through the Izembek Wilderness, pressure from Alaska’s congressional delegation has forced the Department of Interior to reconsider. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, federal agencies are required to consider a range of project alternatives including the alternative of no action.
In a letter submitted last summer from Center for Sustainable Economy to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell we asked her to uphold the USFWS decision and summarized the economic analysis CSE completed with the Wilderness Society demonstrating that the public costs of the road project far outweigh its highly speculative benefits.
Our spring 2012 analysis unequivocally demonstrated that moving forward with this project is a losing proposition economically and clearly not in the public interest. A public interest determination is specifically required for Izembek should it be resuscitated as an active proposal. Our analysis shows that from a net public benefits standpoint, the project could not pass such a test by a wide margin.
For a copy of the letter to Sally Jewell and related materials click here to visit the project page.