U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said the department ignored a request from the village of Nuiqsut, located within the reserve, for more area south of Teshekpuk Lake to be made available for leasing.
"No one disputes the importance of Teshekpuk Lake to waterfowl and caribou, but I think we should listen most closely to those who live there and depend on both these critical subsistence resources as well as the economic opportunity resource development can bring," he said in a statement.
Previous management plans covered the northeast and northwest areas of the reserve. The new plan is the first that covers the entire reserve.
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