ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Interior Department plans to spend $4 million in the section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge where petroleum drilling may be allowed.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a release Thursday said the spending will be part of nearly $5.9 million approved in Alaska for critical U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service infrastructure.
The wilderness area has little infrastructure. The department says money will be spent to improve existing facilities, construct outbuildings and support “heightened levels of activity.”
The Trump administration in April announced a 60-day environmental review for a refuge lease sale.
The refuge is home to polar bears and the calving grounds of a caribou herd shared with Canada.
Environmental groups and Alaska Natives south of the refuge who rely on migrating caribou oppose drilling.
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