Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has decided to reevaluate a Fish and Wildlife Service decision to prevent construction of a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
The Interior Department will send its next secretary and undersecretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn to King Cove.
They’re expected to meet with local leaders who want the Interior Department to reverse the Fish and Wildlife decision.
Senator Lisa Murkowski says this is the first step to overturning that ruling:
“Fact of the matter is, this process that the secretary has laid out, doesn’t get the residents of King Cove their road tomorrow. But it was does allow for is a reassessment, a re-look, of what Fish and Wildlife did with their assessment.”
And this new assessment could take months, if not years, to complete.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.