Izembek and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuges Are on the Chopping Block

In wilderness near Frosty Peak, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge | Kristine Sowl | USFWS
In wilderness near Frosty Peak, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge | Kristine Sowl | USFWS

This afternoon at 2pm EST, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands will host a hearing to discuss two bills that threaten the integrity of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System).

Izembek and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuges are under threat from those in Congress who wish to take away your public lands, thereby setting dangerous precedents for the Refuge System and undermining our nation’s bedrock environmental laws.

H.R. 218: King Cove Road Land Exchange Act

The King Cove Road Land Exchange Act would lead to the construction of a road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which is congressionally designated wilderness and “Wetland of International Importance.”

The road would cause irreversible damage to the refuge’s wildlife and environment, negatively impact Alaska natives’ subsistence way of life, waste millions of taxpayer dollars, undermine our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, and set a dangerous precedent for the entire National Wildlife Refuge System and all wilderness lands.

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, MA | USFWS
Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, MA | USFWS

H.R.1157 – To clarify the United States interest in certain submerged lands in the area of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, and for other purposes 

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Town of Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. H.R. 1157 attempts to adjust Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge’s western boundary, effectively cutting the refuge in half by giving approximately 4,000 refuge acres to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

If passed, this bill will have unintended ramifications felt across the entire National Wildlife Refuge System. A local, non-legislative solution is the only viable option to address the concerns of Chatham officials and uphold the integrity of the Refuge System. The Massachusetts Attorney General has announced her intent to sue the FWS over the boundary dispute. If the town and the FWS cannot reach an agreement, then the courts, not Congress, should resolve this controversy.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association has been fighting against the construction of the Izembek road for decades, and continues to work with stakeholders in Massachusetts to help resolve the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge boundary dispute.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association, along with the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, and the Friends of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, mobilized over 100 Friends organizations across the country to join a letter opposing these bills.

Thank you so much to all of the Friends organizations who came together to oppose these two bills. This incredible statement of support showcases your commitment to protecting and conserving America’s wildlife heritage and our National Wildlife Refuge System. For more information, please read our national friends sign-on letter.

To listen to the hearing this afternoon, click here.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2017/04/izembek-and-monomoy-national-wildlife-refuge-are-on-the-chopping-block/


  1. Kay Charter says:

    This is WRONG! Our National Wildlife Refuges are the last bastion for many wildlife species. Do not rob our children of their birthright by destroying them.

  2. Vicki spleas says:

    This is a refuge…do you comprehend. Are you going to get big money for allowing these animals to be killed. What is your agenda for doing this.

  3. Jessie Vosti says:

    Both of these refuges are of prime importance in protecting wildlife.

    The Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness are one of our nation’s finest examples of critically important wildlife habitat that exists in its original ecological state. Izembek Lagoon harbors the world’s largest eel grass beds and is a crucial staging habitat for nearly the entire population of Pacific brant (a species of goose), as well as for unique Emperor geese that are found only in the Bering Sea region, Cackling Canada geese, and numerous other waterfowl species. Located near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, Izembek is a major crossroad for international migrations of many bird species. It is also home to the famous Alaskan brown bear, rich salmon spawning areas, caribou, wolves, wolverine, seals, sea otters, and other mammal species.

    To cut a 10-mile long road through the heart of the Izembek would be a travesty of monumental proportions and would nullify the intent of having designated this area as wilderness.

    As a nation, we need Wilderness to preserve our wild animals, fisheries, flora so they may survive unhampered by human activity. I might never set my feet inside a wilderness area but it is comforting to know it exists in its pristine condition, free of pollution, clear cutting, mining, commercial activities, and roads. We need our wilderness to safeguard our wildlife and, in the case of the Izembek, to protect its breeding grounds.

    Say NO to using land trade schemes to develop our precious Wilderness lands across our Nation including the Izembek.

  4. RCS Optics says:

    Please take action and let your congressional delegation know your feeling about The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Izembek and Monomoy.

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