Alaska Native village supports 'Road to Nowhere'

A remote Alaska Native community supports a controversial proposal to build a road through a national wildlife refuge.

The residents of King Cove say the road will give them a safe and direct route to the airport. Right now, the only way to get from the village to the airport is via hovercraft across Cold Bay.

Alaska's Congressional delegation says traveling by hovercraft is too expensive and unreliable. So they have introduced bills to build a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

Environmentalists oppose the project. They say construction will harm one of the most fertile wildlife breeding and feeding sites in the nation.

The state supports the road and has agreed to donate 42,000 acres so the road can be built on 200 acres in the refuge. King Cove Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation, has offered land as well.

"We were not consulted when the wildlife refuge was set up, and so our needs weren't taken into consideration. That just isn't fair," Della Trumble, the president of the corporation, told The Washington Post.

About half of the residents of the village are Aleut.

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In Alaska, a Road Marked With Controversy (The Washington Post 7/23)