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PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Land Exchange/Road Corridor Draft EIS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) invites the public to an

open house and public meetings.  The Service has prepared a Draft

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that analyzes the impacts of a

proposed land exchange with the State of Alaska and the King Cove

Corporation for the purpose of construction and operation of a single-lane

gravel road between the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay, Alaska.

Comments must be received by May 18, 2012.



The format for the public meetings will consist of an open house, followed

by an opportunity for comments. During the open house, representatives from

the Service, the cooperating agencies, and third-party EIS team will be

available to discuss the project and answer questions. The public meetings

will be documented by a court reporter.



Comments on the draft EIS should be submitted no later than May 18, 2012. A

copy of the draft plan is available at:  http://izembek.fws.gov/EIS.htm or

you may request hard copies or CDs of the draft plan by email,

izembek_eis@fws.gov; or telephone, (907) 786-3357.  In addition to speaking

at the public  meetings you may submit comments by email to:

izembek_eis@fws.gov; by fax to 907-786-3965; or by mail to:  U.S. Fish &

Wildlife Service, Stephanie Brady, Project Team Leader, U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Rd., MS-231, Anchorage, AK  99503.



Requests for sign language interpretation or auxiliary aids should be made

at least 14 days before the scheduled meeting to Joan Kluwe at (907)

562-3366 or joan.kluwe@urs.com.



Meeting Locations and Times:
                                                                               
   Anchorage              |  Sand Point             |  Cold Bay                
                          |                         |                          
   Thursday May 3, 2012   |  Monday May 7, 2012     |  Tuesday May 8, 2012     
                          |                         |                          
   Campbell Creek Science |  Council Chambers       |  Community Center        
                          |                         |                          
   Center at 5600 Science |  7:00-9:00pm            |  7:00-9:00pm             
                          |                         |                          
   Center Drive           |                         |                          
                          |                         |                          
   7:00-9:30pm            |                         |                          
 -------------------------+-------------------------+------------------------- 
   Nelson Lagoon          |  False Pass             |  King Cove               
                          |                         |                          
   Wednesday              |  Wednesday              |  Thursday May 10, 2012   
                          |                         |                          
   May 9, 2012            |  May 9, 2012            |  Multi-Purpose Center    
                          |                         |                          
   Community Center       |  Larsen Center          |  6:30pm                  
                          |                         |                          
   2:00-4:00pm            |  7:00-9:00pm            |                          
                                                                               




In the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (the Act), Congress

directed the Secretary of the Interior to prepare an EIS to conduct an

analysis of the proposed land exchange with the State of Alaska and the

King Cove Corporation. In addition, the Act required an analysis of a road

corridor through Izembek NWR in designated Wilderness between the

communities of Cold Bay and King Cove, Alaska.



The project planning team includes the Service (lead agency), U.S. Army

Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation - Federal Highway

Administration - Western Federal Lands Division, State of Alaska, Aleutians

East Borough, City of King Cove, King Cove Corporation, the Agdaagux Tribe,

and the Belkofski Tribe as formal cooperators. The Environmental Protection

Agency and Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council also are working

with the planning team, though they are not formal cooperators. The Service

conducted public involvement and scoping in 2010 and developed and analyzed

alternatives in 2010 and 2011.



A summary of the comments received and responses to substantive comments

will be included in the final EIS, which is scheduled to be released in the

fall of 2012. A Record of Decision will be completed no earlier than 30

days after release of the final Environmental Impact Statement. Following

the Record of Decision, the Secretary of the Interior will determine if the

land exchange is in the public interest.



Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is the smallest and one of the most

ecologically unique of Alaska’s refuges.  Most of the refuge is designated

wilderness and home to a diverse array of wildlife species including five

species of salmon; furbearers such as wolf, fox and wolverine; large

mammals such as caribou, moose and brown bears; shorebirds, seabirds; and

other waterfowl.  For more information about the refuge visit,

http://izembek.fws.gov.



The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to

conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats

for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and

trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific

excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated

professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on

our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with

our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at

www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at

http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq

                                   -FWS-

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