Group petitions to protect Alaska lake seals

An environmental group is seeking endangered species protection for Pacific harbor seals that live in an Alaska lake.

The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday petitioned to list 250 to 350 seals that live in Iliamna Lake 200 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The group says the seals are the country’s only population of resident freshwater seals known to live in an inland lake. The lake is more than 120 miles from saltwater.

The group says the seals would be harmed by development of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Development of the copper and gold prospect would mean construction of a 140-mile road from the mine to Cook Inlet. The petition says the road would run near the north shore of Iliamna Lake where seals hunt for fish.