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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 12, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Road through Alaska refuge

Consider this

The “road to destruction” in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Cold Bay, Alaska, would describe the effect that a road through the middle of the refuge would have [“Alaskans debate road through refuge,” Nation & World, Nov. 9].

The story describes that it would be unprecedented to build a road through a critical wildlife refuge. It would probably be used to transport equipment by Shell Oil.

The story failed to mention why Izembek is so critical to wildlife. The entire North American population of more than 150,000 Brandt geese spend their summers there feeding on the largest eelgrass flats on the continent; they breed and raise their young there. Some 23,000 endangered emperor geese and 55,000 taverner geese also summer here.

Brandt look like Canada geese, but spend their time on Puget Sound and in other saltwater areas during the late fall and winter. One oil spill and the entire Brandt population would quickly vanish from Alaska, Canada and the U.S. forever.

— Gene Jarstad, Seattle

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