The Department of the Interior is releasing a conservation plan that recommends additional protections for the 19-million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). President Obama announced he will make a recommendation to Congress to designate core areas of the nation’s largest wildlife refuge – including its coastal plain – as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands. (Only Congress has the authority to designate Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers.) If Congress chooses to follow the president’s recommendation, it would be the largest ever wilderness designation since the 1964 passage of the Wilderness Act.
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