What's At Stake
Alaska’s fish and wildlife – and the communities who depend on them – need our help. As part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) passed more than 50 years ago, more than 150 million acres of intact ecosystems across Alaska were withdrawn and protected from fossil fuel leasing, hard rock mining, and other extractive development. The lands are named D-1 lands because they are currently protected by section 17 (d)(1) of ANCSA.
These protections were put into place to ensure the public interest in the lands was considered, including preserving food access within these ecologically-rich areas for Alaska Native peoples and communities. The Bush administration and later the Trump administration tried to open these lands to industrial development but, thankfully, they didn’t complete that work.
Now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – under pressure from those who would still like to develop these lands – has issued a draft environmental analysis considering the impacts of opening 28 million acres of these D-1 lands. You can help protect these intact ecosystems which are critical for biodiversity, climate protection, and sustaining Alaska Native Tribes’ way of life by urging the BLM to retain these important protections.
The lands at stake crisscross Northwest, Southwest, Southcentral and Southeast Alaska. They support significant salmon populations, large caribou herds, important migratory bird habitat for hundreds of migrating species and many other fish and wildlife species.
More than 80 Tribes and Tribal organizations in Alaska have signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland noting that these BLM-managed lands support important subsistence resources for thousands of Athabaskan, Aleut, Denaʼina, Inupiat, Yup’ik, and Tlingit peoples. The letter states that for Alaska Native communities off the road system, over 80% of food consumed comes directly from the surrounding lands and waters.
These lands are critical to biodiversity and as intact ecosystems, help to serve as a carbon sink and to provide a buffer to our changing climate.
Opening up these lands to industrial development like mining or oil drilling would harm intact ecosystems, threaten fish and wildlife and further exacerbate food security and cultural concerns for Alaska Native people and others living in remote Alaska communities. Send a letter today to urge the BLM to retain these important protections on Alaska’s public lands.
Delivery to Bureau of Land Management