Alaska's Battle for D-1 Lands: A Cry for Protection Echoes

Alaska's vast landscapes, home to diverse ecosystems, are at a crossroads as the Bureau of Land Management weighs decisions on D-1 lands' fate.

D-1 lands, protected under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, harbor critical watersheds, caribou grounds, and hunting areas for over 100 Indigenous communities.

The complexity of managing D-1 lands unfolds, revealing their importance for salmon streams, moose habitats, and migratory bird marshes.

The historic D-1 protections face potential removal as BLM's resource management plans, lacking climate change considerations, come under scrutiny.

The Biden administration intervenes, initiating an environmental impact statement (EIS) process to assess climate-related impacts and propose protections.

Indigenous Alaskan Tribes, deeply connected to D-1 lands, unite, highlighting climate change consequences like erosion, rising river temperatures, and altered migration routes.

The Tribes appeal to the BLM to retain D-1 protections, emphasizing the cultural significance and subsistence resources these lands provide.

As the Biden administration readies its draft EIS, the plea to protect intact landscapes gains momentum, with Pew joining Tribes in their call for preservation.

BLM's decision holds implications for Indigenous communities relying on these lands for millennia, raising questions about the balance between tradition and development.

Scientific evidence underscores the importance of preserving natural habitats to help species adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.

The stage is set for a crucial decision—will Alaska's ancestral lands endure as havens of tradition and biodiversity, or succumb to the pressures of a changing world?