Dear Secretary Kempthorne,
I am very much opposed to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) oil and gas activity plan for the Northeast Planning Area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The plan, approved in January 2006, will open 100 percent of the area north and east of Teshekpuk Lake to leasing.
That would not only place the caribou and waterfowl populations there in serious jeopardy but would damage the important subsistence activities of a number of Native villages. The North Slope's residents have expressed strong opposition to the plan. So have sportsmen's groups, scientists, conservationists and the public at large.
The area around Teshekpuk Lake should remain what it is today: an irreplaceable, unbroken, core wildlife habitat for caribou, molting geese and millions of other birds and mammals and a place where generations of Alaska Natives have hunted, fished and pursued their subsistence ways of life.
[your comment here]
I ask you to cancel the lease sale now tentatively planned for September 2006 in the Teshekpuk Lake Surface Protection Area. I also ask you to direct the BLM to protect the full range of the area's values, from subsistence to recreation to the health of fish and wildlife populations. It would also ensure strict adherence to environmental standards during every phase of oil and gas operations.
Such a decision would be a fitting way to begin your tenure as Interior Secretary, signaling not only a new face but a new day, one of careful environmental stewardship. Thank you for your consideration.