ANCHORAGE – A federal appeals court issued a ruling earlier this week that enables a land swap in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which will allow an 11-mile road to finally be built between King Cove and Cold Bay.
Governor Bill Walker made it a priority to travel to King Cove in 2016 to meet with residents and heard many firsthand accounts of tragedies that could have been prevented by this life-saving road. He also held several meetings with the Secretaries of Interior who served under President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump to advocate for Alaskans on this issue.
Today, Walker released the following statement on the court’s decision and on the court ruling:
“It’s crazy that it takes a legal battle for Alaskans to build a life-saving road on their own ancestral lands. Anyone with common sense recognizes that the people of King Cove and Cold Bay love and appreciate the place they live more than anyone thousands of miles away, and that Alaskans are smart enough to strike a balance between making our communities livable and protecting our lands.
The Ninth Circuit got it right, but sadly, King Cove’s legal battle is likely to continue. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the Biden Administration should end this dispute today and build the road, which will continue to be one of my top priorities as Governor.”