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State Files Notice of Intent to Sue for Izembek Right of Way

April 7, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced that the State of Alaska has filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government over access through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, based on a historic right of way. A strong advocate for the life-saving road between King Cove and Cold Bay, the governor has called the Department of the Interior’s failure to approve a road that would provide emergency medical access for residents of King Cove “unconscionable.”

“In just the last several weeks, serious health-related evacuations have shown just how critical a road for medical evacuations is for residents,” Governor Parnell said. “The State continues to explore all potential avenues to help the people of King Cove. The notice of intent to sue relates to one option the State is evaluating, but the fastest and surest way to provide emergency medical access for King Cove residents is for Secretary Jewell to reconsider her decision placing the possible temporary disturbance of birds above the health and safety of Alaskans. The State will pursue all options to help Alaska residents.”

The notice is required to be submitted at least 180 days prior to the State being allowed to bring suit against the federal government asserting a right of way based on historic use under Revised Statute 2477, a section of the Mining Act of 1866. A copy of the notice is available at:

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/jewell_040714.pdf

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