It’s 3,200 miles from Joe Balash’s office in Washington, D.C., to the Neets’aii Gwich’in community of Arctic Village. But Arctic Village is barely 200 miles from North Pole, the Alaska town where Balash grew up.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently hosted the U.S. Forest Service’s top official in a visit to Wrangell, Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island. The delegation met with tribes and talked ‘Roadless Rule’ with the local timber industry
Until recently, Gwich’in tribes were on the winning side of the battle over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, in late 2017, Congress opened the coastal plain to oil development.
In a document issued by the EPA, the agency concludes the project “may have substantial and unacceptable adverse impacts on fisheries resources in the project area watersheds, which are aquatic resources of national importance.”