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Explanation of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Land Exchange / Road Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement

After decades of effort and expense, Congress passed the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Land Exchange Act (2009) and now a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as required under the Act, is available for public comment until May 18th, 2012.

• The construction of the 19 mile long gravel road requires the King Cove Corporation to donate or relinquish a valid land selection to the Federal Government for a total of approximately 10,696 acres of land granted as partial fulfillment of Alaska Native Land Claims in ANSCA to the King Cove Corporation, whose shareholders are Aleuts with thousands of years of traditional use of the lands that are now the Izembek and Alaska Peninsula National wildlife Refuge.

• The Shareholders of the King Cove Corporation have decided they are willing to forego the exclusive ability to eliminate competition for subsistence resources on these 10,696 acres, like any other private landowner, in return for a safe, reliable, and affordable road linking the City of King Cove to the Cold Bay Airport.

• The draft EIS indicates that a hovercraft operation would not have the ability to meet only life threatening emergency travel on a 24/7 basis. Hovercraft service would not be available for 52 days a year due to the 1 round trip / 6 day a week schedule, and by sea conditions that exceed safe operating conditions for up to 101 days a year. It would serve only half the number predicted to use a road, at cost of $2 million annually (an operational cost of $1,247 per passenger).

• The draft EIS indicates that a ferry operation would not have the ability to reliably serve emergency travel on a 24/7 basis due to sea conditions that exceed safe operating conditions at either a Lenard Harbor Terminal or at the Cold Bay Dock during severe weather, with all other travel would not be available due to the 1 round trip / 6 day a week schedule for 52 days a year plus 2 out of service periods of not less than 1 week for required U.S. Coast Guard inspection every 5 years. The predicted passengers served are only half the number predicted to use a road at a cost of $2.3 million annually (an operational cost of $1,435 per passenger).


As noted by Dean Gould, President of the King Cove Corporation, “We are willing to give back to the federal government about 20% of the lands that same government gave us to settle aboriginal land rights as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. That speaks highly to the importance of this issue to our people and to their health, safety and well-being.”



Additional History of the King Cove Access Project

Aleutians East Borough

For information on submitting public comments visit:

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge



Please feel free to contact our office at (907) 497-2312.

e-mail:dellat@arctic.net

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Request for Public Comment
Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Land Exchange/Road Corridor

Support for King Cove &
Alternative #2

Deadline for Public Comment:
May 18, 2012

Comments Can be Submitted in the Following Ways:

By email to:
izembek_eis@fws.gov

By Fax to:
907-786-3965

By Mail to:
Stephanie Brady,
Project Team Leader,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
1011 East Tudor Rd., MS-231, Anchorage, AK 99503.

Important Instructions for Public Comment

All public comments received, including respondent names and addresses, will be included in the administrative record, which, upon request, will be available for public review.

If you provide comments in your official capacity as a representative of an organization or business, we can, by law, only accept your comment if you include your full name and complete contact information.

If you are commenting as an individual and you want us to withhold your name or contact information, please state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. We will honor your request to the extent allowed by law.

 
 
 
 
     

King Cove Corporation - PO Box 38 - King Cove, Alaska 99612
 

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