Interior has been mostly silent on the issue until now. Federal attorneys filed a motion on Friday to get King Cove’s lawsuit thrown out of court. And Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told her biggest critics that she will not reconsider her decision to block the road.
They all carry the same basic message: The Interior Department is committed to fixing transportation, so King Cove residents can catch medevac flights at the all-weather airport on the other side of the refuge. But the Interior Department also doesn’t think a road is the way to get them there.
This is the first time Jewell has made substantive remarks on this issue since she rejected the road plan in December. In her letters, Jewell writes it was her “hope and invitation that King Cove residents would participate in the development of other transportation improvement options.”
Those include a ferry and better helicopter service. But neither would work in bad weather, according to King Cove’s mayor, Henry Mack.
He and several other residents put out a statement criticizing the Interior Secretary. And for now, they’re pressing ahead with their lawsuit — and their effort to reverse Jewell’s decision.
- September 2, 2015- The federal government is tapping the Denali Commission as the lead agency to address the relocation of coastal communities across the state.
- September 2, 2015- As part of her visit to Alaska, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu visited Juneau on Tuesday. In an interview on A Juneau Afternoon, she discussed what makes art worthwhile.
- September 2, 2015- President Barack Obama visited Dillingham Wednesday afternoon as part of his trip to Alaska.
- September 2, 2015- The letter covers a lot of ground — outlining the need to develop a deep-draft port above the Arctic Circle and advocating sharing federal revenue from offshore oil drilling with local residents.