ANCHORAGE - Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is opposed to a federal agency updating the 22-year-old conservation plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Begich says the new plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will include consideration of additional wilderness designations and is a waste of money.
Begich says he plans to fight any effort to block development of the estimated 11 billion barrels of oil and natural gas under ANWR.
The planning process will begin with public meetings to discuss issues and future goals for the refuge. Public meetings are planned for April and May in Anchorage, Arctic Village, Fairbanks, Fort Yukon, Kaktovik, and Venetie.