ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It's a passionate topic for dozens who came to testify Wednesday night at a public hearing in Anchorage.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service heard public comment on its draft management plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The new plan will make recommendations on whether or not to leave the current wilderness area as is, or expand it to include up to three areas, including the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain. The Comprehensive Conservation Plan contains six alternatives for long-term management.
The majority of people who came to testify Wednesday night were in support of designating the Coastal Plain as wilderness.
“I have to speak for the generation. It’s the best interest to leave it as it is and protected,” said Ernest Erick.
“I see the wilderness refuge not only as a jewel for Alaska but for the United States and the world,” said Anchorage resident Brendon Babb. “It’s just an undisturbed wilderness place that continues, generation to generation.”