Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Arctic Refuge
This year, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has begun to develop a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Arctic Refuge. The CCP process happens roughly every 15 years and is designed to direct management of the Refuge. Part of the planning process includes conducting a wilderness review and a wild and scenic rivers review. The wilderness review could potentially result in an official Administration recommendation to Congress for wilderness designation on the Coastal Plain. The CCP process also provides the Sierra Club and the public an opportunity to weigh in with the USFWS and suggest how the Refuge may be better managed. The kickoff press event was timed to occur shortly before the planned public scoping hearing in Washington, DC on May 4th.
Brooks Range; Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
At the hearing in DC more than 25 individuals representing organizations and Senators all testified and the vast majority of testimony was in favor of wilderness. More such hearings will be held throughout Alaska and in DC and are the first step in the CCP process.