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Committee Passes Bill to Facilitate Alaska's King Cove Land Exchange


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2017 -

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 218, the “King Cove Land Exchange Act.” Introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-AK), this bipartisan bill authorizes a land exchange to facilitate the construction of a road linking the City of King Cove to the City of Cold Bay to access a modern airport.

“For too long access to healthcare for the tribes and residents of King Cove has been tied to the ineffective federal bureaucracy. I commend Rep. Young for his leadership on this locally supported land exchange bill,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “The Trump administration has already shown its willingness to begin addressing this important issue.”

Secretary Jewell’s heartless denial of the King Cove emergency access road – a willful and deliberate dismissal of human life in the name of wildlife – represents one of the worst government actions I’ve seen in all my years in Congress,” Rep Young said. Since that decision, the community has experienced 53 medivacs in often treacherous conditions. This legislation is an important step to ensuring the people of King Cove have safe and reliable transportation during medical emergencies. It’s appalling that this fight has taken decades, but I’m extremely optimistic that under the current administration we can finally resolve this issue and facilitate the construction of this 11-mile, life-saving road from King Cove to Cold Bay. I thank Chairman Bishop for moving this commonsense proposal and look forward to its passage in the House.”

Background:

The 206 acres of federal lands the State of Alaska receives from the equal value land exchange will be used to construct an 11 mile, one-lane gravel road needed for King Cove residents to access critical medical care.

Harsh weather conditions in winter and the lack of infrastructure has resulted in a number of fatal accidents over the years. The land exchange will facilitate the construction of a life-saving road to provide access to hospitals and emergency services for the 1,000 residents of King Cove.

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Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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