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Alaska Native leaders in DC to make case for controversial road

YouTube: KTVA Anchorage: Two Coast Guard medevacs in same day in King Cove, Alaska

Leaders and residents of an Alaska Native village are in Washington, D.C., this week to put the pressure on the Obama administration.

King Cove, an Aleut village, sits 30 miles from the nearest air strip in Cold Bay. The only way to get there is to via boat, a trip that can take up to two hours in choppy weather [Google Maps: No Directions].

Residents say a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge would make the journey safer and quicker. And it could eliminate the need for emergency air trips -- just last week a father and his infant son were medevaced out of the village in two separate incidents.

But Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the road due to environmental concerns. The controversy will come up as she presents her department's fiscal year 2015 budget on Capitol Hill this week.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plans to ask questions about it at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday. After the hearing, she will hold a press conference with King Cove residents in Room 366 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building, starting at 11:30am.

"King Cove is not asking for a superhighway but instead 11 miles of road through an area the Aleut stewarded for thousands of years before the government came along. It would be a gravel road, one lane, and all of 13 feet wide," Murkowski said in an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times last week.

Get the Story:
King Cove Residents Take Road Debate to Washington, D.C. (KUBC 3/24)
Izembek certain to stoke controversy as Jewell defends Interior budget before House and Senate panels (Environment & Energy Daily 3/24)

An Opinion:
Nils Warnock: Road would harm Izembek; King Cove needs another way (The Anchorage Daily News 3/21)

Related Stories:
Lisa Murkowski: Road to nowhere a lifesaver for Native village (3/19)
Opinion: Secretary Jewell ignores trust obligations to village (3/17)
Lisa Murkowski: DOI decision leaves Alaska Native village at risk (2/26)
Secretary Jewell axes road project for Alaska Native village (1/3)

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