ICYMI: The Dominion of Sally Jewell
Another sad irony in the ongoing fight over King Cove’s life-saving road. You’ll never guess where, of all places, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has concluded that “fall waterfowl hunting is spectacular.”
That’s right: the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. For those not paying attention to our weekly letters and press releases, that’s the same refuge where Interior Secretary Sally Jewell claimed that someone needed to speak for the birds … and then rejected the best option for emergency medical access for local residents.
We’re big fans of hunting, but this goes down as yet another example of how Interior’s logic on the King Cove road simply doesn’t add up. We can’t build an 11-mile, one-lane, gravel road because it might disturb some birds – but if you want to go out and shoot them, by all means, it’s “spectacular.”
From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website on Izembek: http://1.usa.gov/1fkvrcv
Izembek's hunting opportunities, particularly for brown bear and waterfowl, are world famous. When salmon are running, brown bear densities can be among the highest recorded; as many as six bears per mile along some streams. Fall waterfowl hunting is spectacular, as well, and hardy wetland enthusiasts can pursue light and dark geese (Canada geese, black brant), dabbling ducks (mallard, pintail), diving ducks, and sea ducks. Ptarmigan are abundant and are year round residents. Izembek is home to approximately 180 species of birds, and of these, there are a wide variety of waterfowl available to hunt. The Southern Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd is currently at a healthy level (>5400 animals, 2002), and can support human harvest, with both resident and non-resident seasons available. A resident moose season also takes place in December and January, allowing local hunters to harvest one bull.