FAIRBANKS — The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge released its latest draft of its Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, that outlines long-term management of the refuge.
Refuge staff and planners will host an open house Wednesday in Fairbanks for public comment.
The current plan is more than 20 years old. The new drafts include new scientific information and changes in laws, policies and refuge conditions that have changed since the 1988 original plan, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.
Fish and Wildlife Service officials will listen to public comments before deciding which of its six alternative management plans included in the draft is preferred.
Alaska’s senators took opposition to parts of the draft that could create new wilderness areas.
“I have said all along spending limited federal dollars on a review of new wilderness designation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a waste of time and money,” Sen. Mark Begich said in a press release. “I am glad the Interior Department did not recommend new wilderness area in their draft plan, and urge Alaskans to speak out over the coming months to ensure the coastal plain of ANWR stays on the table for oil and gas development.”
Fairbanks’ public comment opportunity will be from 3-9 p.m., Wednesday at the Pioneer Park Civic Center.
For more information on the drafts go to http://arctic.fws.gov/ccp.htm.