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Bishop Statement on DOI Action to Construct Life-Saving Road in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2018 -

Today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed a land-swap agreement to facilitate a life-saving road for the isolated community of King Cove, Alaska.

“Today is a great day for Alaska, and an especially important day for the residents of King Cove. Secretary Zinke has done what the previous administration refused; he prioritized the lives and well-being of Alaska Natives over those of a goose,” Rep. Don Young (R-AK) stated. “Sally Jewell said someone had to speak for the birds. Well Secretary Zinke has finally spoken for the people. The city of King Cove was incorporated 33 years before there was a Refuge, and the residents of that town only asked for one thing -- a road to reach the airport. I want to thank not only the Administration, but my colleagues who stood up with me on July 20th when we voted in the House to build the King Cove road. I have been working on this for 30 years, and I am proud to stand with Secretary Zinke today in finally giving King Cove their road.”

“Alaska has fought for too long to build a road to safety for the people of King Cove. Finally, we have an administration willing to place people ahead of dogma and special interests and do the right thing. By signing this land swap, Secretary Zinke is saving lives,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. 


In July 2017, the House passed H.R. 218, the bipartisan “King Cove Road Land Exchange Act.” Introduced by Rep. Young, the bill authorizes a land exchange between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Alaska to construct an 11-mile, one lane, non-commercial road connecting the remote community of King Cove to a modern, all-weather airport with access to emergency medical services in Cold Bay, Alaska.

Under the agreement announced by Secretary Zinke, the State of Alaska will transfer State land to be added to the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, in exchange for the minimum acreage necessary to construct the life-saving road that the people of King Cove have sought for decades.  

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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