NPRA Comment Deadline EXTENDED until June 15- Dig in today!
June 15 is the deadline to comment on the BLM's latest and greatest plan for the entire National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. We've made a one-stop-shop page to help you write great comments! And come to Public Hearings: Wed. May 23 -Fairbanks, Thurs. May 24 - Anchorage.
NAEC board members Jon Miller and Lou Brown dig into the details on the Colville River, 2011 Photo by Stan Justice
The plan is out!
On March 30, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a draft area-wide plan for the entire National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). This plan will encompass the full range of values of the lands and their future management. It will be the first consistent, comprehensive plan for NPR-A. It contains EXCITING steps like the designation of 5 Special Areas and 12 Wild and Scenic Rivers in Alternative B. This plan needs your support! And now you have MORE TIME TO COMMENT- the deadline has been extended until JUNE 15!
WRITE: a Public Comment
The Do’s and Don’ts
1. Hit the points:
· Be explicit about what alternative you want and what you’re against.
· Support your suggestions with facts (bullets are OK) the BLM is obligated to respond to factual comments.
2. Be Real:
· Write from your heart.
· Use frank language- this is being read by humans!
· Address your comments to Jim Ducker, BLM Alaska State Office, not “gentlemen,” “sirs,” “dudes” etc.
· Frame your comments as suggestions.
· Treat the officials who will be reading the letters with respect.
· It’s best to provide your full contact info, but at the minimum provide your state as this will be tallied.
· Format your letter with a beginning, middle, and end and introduce yourself briefly, and describe your tie to the area especially if you have been there or are tied by the birds or animals to the place in question.
· Make sure that it is reader friendly (ie: not a giant block of text).
· If you’re submitting your comments as an e-mail, CC friends and family and show them how easy it is to comment!
4. Be original:
· While it is best to write original material, it is OK to use old comments so long as you provide an introduction about how the comments are relevant to the draft plan.
· Think of it like a pass/fail assignment; it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be turned in.
- Spend a lot of time thanking BLM for the opportunity to comment. They’ve read this a lot and are mandated by law to do so.
- Try to avoid directly copying and pasting bullets and paragraphs from action alerts.
- Get hung up in formalities.
RAISE: the Following Key Points
1. Urge the BLM to adopt alternative B because it provides balance in the Reserve with effective and reliable protection for Special Areas with key wildlife habitats, subsistence resources and wilderness values, while allowing oil and gas leasing in other areas of the Reserve.
2. Insist on safeguarding the entire expanded Teshekpuk Lake Special Area as unavailable for leasing, including the critical calving and insect relief areas as well as globally significant important bird areas for molting and nesting in wetlands areas around the lake. Alt. B is the only one that makes the whole area (not just the lake bed) unavailable for leasing.
3. Underscore the importance of protecting coastal areas like Peard Bay and Kasegaluk Lagoon for marine life and subsistence users.
4. Support the wilderness characteristics and valueslike recreation, solitude, and intact ecosystems in the plan as a positive step forward in making sensitive decisions on where to allow leasing.
5. Protect the wildest country in the southern part of the Reserve in the upper Colville River and expanded Utukok Uplands Special Area covering the DeLong Mountains/Arctic Foothills. These areas of lower oil and gas potential support calving, insect relief and migration routes of the Western Arctic caribou herd, as well as key habitat for wolves, wolverines and bears.