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Alaska Wilderness League Supports Subsistence Alternative for Black River, Recreation use in the White Mountains for the Eastern Interior

Bureau of Land Management Releases Long Awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement

FAIRBANKS – Today, the Bureau of Land Management has released its draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Eastern Interior Planning Region, which includes four alternatives. The Eastern Interior Planning Region includes four subunit areas used by Alaskans for recreation and subsistence use, including: White Mountains, Steese, Fortymile and Upper Black River.

Statement from Darcie Warden, Alaska Wilderness League:

“We commend the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its analysis of wilderness characteristics in the Eastern Interior Planning Region. We strongly support Alternative B, which we feel provides the appropriate protections for wildlife habitat, while also providing the most access to lands and waters for subsistence use. As a noted riparian conservation area, we agree that the Salmon Fork River should be designated as a Wild and Scenic River, as noted in BLM’s plan as a place with ‘outstanding remarkable features.’

Even though BLM has additional recommendations, we strongly feel that the other three recommendations do not provide adequate protections for the Alaskan lifestyle and subsistence user. BLM itself mentions in its plan that Alternative B ‘would best protect subsistence resources.’

We think that including a portion of the Area of Critical Environmental Concern is a good start, but we would like to see BLM include more of the vital headways of the area and areas that Alaskan rely upon for subsistence and recreational areas.

We support Alternative B because it is reflective of how Alaskans are currently using the lands and waters.”

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