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Fri Sep 13, 2019, 03:48 AM

30 million acres of public land in Alaska at risk of being developed or transferred

If the Trump administration gets its way, approximately 28.3 million acres of federal land across Alaska could be transferred, sold or opened up to extractive development, according to a new Center for American Progress analysis of the federal government’s land management actions in the state.

The administration’s agenda in Alaska amounts to “one of the most brazen public land liquidation efforts in U.S. history,” the left-leaning think tank writes in its report.

The analysis highlights nine separate actions that put protected public land on the chopping block. Those include President Donald Trump’s well-documented rush to open the 1.5 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and his directive last month to allow logging and other potential development in more than 9 million acres of Tongass National Forest, the largest remaining intact temperate rainforest on the planet.

It also includes several lesser-known initiatives, including revoking a pair of land withdrawals, a move that could ultimately open 1.3 million acres to future development; a land exchange that would allow for a road to be built through the 417,000-acre Izembek National Wildlife Refuge; and an ongoing rewrite of an Obama-era management plan that protected more than 13 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve from oil exploration.

Read more: https://www.hcn.org/articles/climate-desk-30-million-acres-of-public-land-in-alaska-at-risk-of-being-developed-or-transferred
(High Country News)

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