Cold Bay, Alaska (KINY) The King Cove Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation will identify up to 0.8 square miles (2 sq. kilometers) of its land that could be swapped for equal-value land within Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
The Interior Department this week said it would at least explore the idea of a land exchange for the road. The refuge is an internationally renowned habitat for migrating waterfowl in southwest Alaska.
The road would connect the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay and provide King Cove residents and all-weather airport that is used for emergency medical flights. King Cove is located in an area with strong winds and mountains that frequently cancel flights into the village.
The nearby Cold Bay airport was built during World War II. The proposed one lane gravel road would only be used for private traffic and medical patients and not commercial vehicles.
Environmental groups strongly oppose the 22 mile road because they claim it will injure the migratory bird habitats.