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Alaska to Sue for Road Through Wildlife Refuge

Published On: Apr 07 2014 03:35:00 PM AKDT
(img1)King Cove Land Swap Denied

ANCHORAGE -

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says the state Monday gave notice it will sue the federal government to construct a road through a national wildlife refuge.

Parnell in an announcement says the village of King Cove needs road access to Cold Bay and its all-weather airport for emergency medical flights.

Parnell says the Interior Department failure to approve a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is unconscionable.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the road in December.

It is proposed for an isthmus along the 150-square-mile Izembek Lagoon, home to world's largest known bed of eelgrass, which provides fodder to Pacific brant, endangered Steller's eiders and other migratory waterfowl as they head south for the winter.

Environmental groups strongly oppose the proposed one-lane gravel road through the refuge.