Alaska Road

Living on Earth

Congress is considering a controversial plan to cut a road through the remote Alaskan wilderness area of Izembek (EYE-zem-bek) National Wildlife Refuge. The Izembek is nestled among the rugged mountain terrain and teeming coastal wetlands of the state’s remote western tip, out towards the Aleutian islands. Republican lawmakers from Alaska are asking Congress to build a road through the refuge in order to link two isolated villages. Proponents say the road is needed for medical emergencies, while opponents say it could knock the region’s eco-system off balance, and set a dangerous precedent of allowing construction in a federally protected area. Greg Siekaniec (sa-CAN-ick) is a biologist and manager of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. From his office in Cold Bay, he described to Steve Curwood some of the waterfowl that stop over in the refuge.

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