U.S. considers new land swap deal in Alaska wildlife refuge

May 17, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Deb Haaland

The U.S. Interior Department will review the environmental impacts of a possible land swap deal that would allow a new road to cut through an Alaska wildlife refuge, it said on Wednesday. The move comes two months after Interior Secretary Deb Haaland withdrew a Trump-era land exchange deal between her agency and the Alaska Native American-led King Cove Corporation, but said she would be open to considering other proposals to replace it. …Interior said it would consider an exchange that would allow for a road corridor for noncommercial use through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and the Izembek Wilderness Area. Supporters say the road would give residents of King Cove village access to nearby airstrip in case of medical or other emergencies. Environmentalists have said a road would destroy valuable habitat for birds along Kinzarof Lagoon, and would set a dangerous precedent for other wildlife refuges.

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