Sporting Conservation Petition for Teshekpuk Lake
© Ann Rothe
Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Secretary Kempthorne:
We, the undersigned sportspersons and conservationists, urge you to continue the decades-long protections currently enjoyed at Teshekpuk Lake in northern Alaska. Teshekpuk Lake is a critical nesting and molting area for large numbers of migratory waterfowl, including:
- Up to 37,000 molting brant – 30% of all brant in the Pacific flyway.
- Up to 35,000 greater white-fronted geese – 6% percent of the mid-continent breeding population (Central and Mississippi flyways).
- Tens of thousands of Canada and snow geese and tundra swans (Central and Atlantic flyways).
- Tens of thousands of long-tailed ducks and pintails – a species below North American population objectives.
- Nesting spectacled eiders – a “threatened” species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Waterfowl hunting organizations, conservation groups, professional waterfowl biologists and land managers have all expressed their opposition to opening the areas around Teshekpuk Lake to the disturbances caused by oil and gas development. Presently, nearly 1.5 million acres of the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are leased for future oil development, and 87% of this entire area is open to leasing. We are asking that the much smaller area around Teshekpuk Lake retain its protected status and be allowed to continue to support its outstanding migratory waterfowl resources.