Agency rejects Alaska refuge road

The federal government has rejected a plan to build a road through an Alaska wildlife refuge to give a small Aleut village better access to medical care.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it won’t approve a land exchange that would have allowed construction of a road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

The agency concluded a road could cause permanent damage to wetlands used by migratory birds, including some that are endangered.

The nearly thousand people who live in the village of King Cove want the 9-mile road to give medical patients a land link to nearby Cold Bay and its all-weather airport.

Environmental groups strongly protested the road.

The land exchange would have given the federal government 56,000 acres in exchange for land for the road.

 

View Izembeck National Wildlife Refuge in a larger map