Environment | Opinion

Editorial: Road through wildlife refuge benefits Native village





"Almost four years ago, the federal administration signed off on a national wilderness act with a provision offering a small, wind-plagued village on the Alaska Peninsula the possibility of future road access to a safer airport. This week, the Obama administration appears poised to snatch that provision back. It should not do so.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that the federal government should not proceed with a land swap that would allow construction of a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. That road would allow the community of King Cove access to a 10,000-foot airfield and cross-wind strip at Cold Bay.

The environmental impact statement was required by the legislation authorizing the land swap, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. That legislation proposed that about 56,000 acres now owned by the state and the King Cove Native corporation would become official federal wilderness in exchange for rights to build a one-lane road through an isthmus separating Cold Bay from Izembek Lagoon. Total road acreage: 206."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Preferred paths: Agency recommends against King Cove road (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 2/6)

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Alaska Native village won't get road through wildlife refuge (2/5)