The U.S. District Court in Alaska has issued a final decision banning the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's planned Sept. 27 lease sale in the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Planning Area.
A coalition of environmental groups, consisting of the National Audubon Society, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, had sued to stop the sale, because the sale included an environmentally sensitive area near Teshekpuk Lake.
And, as a consequence of the lawsuit, the court on Sept. 6 issued a preliminary decision against the sale. Following a rebuttal hearing on Sept. 21 the court has now made a final ruling in the case.
Although BLM argued in a court filing on Sept. 22 that any injunction should only apply to the contested Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, the court has placed an injunction on the whole Northeast Planning Area lease sale.
BLM was unable to comment Monday on whether the lease sale for the Northwest NPR-A Planning Area would proceed.