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Governor Parnell Signs Land Exchange, Fisheries Bills

August 19, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today signed House Bill 210, authorizing a land exchange with the federal government for a road corridor through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, providing road access between King Cove and Cold Bay. House Bill 210 was sponsored by Representative Bryce Edgmon.

"This is a tremendous victory for King Cove and Aleutians East residents, who have fought for road access for more than a decade, and currently use a hovercraft for transportation between the communities," Governor Parnell said. "A road is a safe, economical, and long-term solution to accessing King Cove and providing increased mobility and access to services for residents."

The approval of the exchange was introduced in Congress by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young in 2007. The land exchange was eventually rolled into the Omnibus Lands Bill, which was passed in 2009 and signed into law by President Obama in March.

Governor Parnell also signed House Bill 20. HB 20, sponsored by Representatives Bryce Edgmon and Bob Buch, allows a larger number of Alaskan fishermen to obtain loans through the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund to upgrade their vessels for fuel efficiency.

"Alaska's commercial fishing fleet is made up of thousands of small, independent businesses, and this bill provides for low-interest loans to those who wish to upgrade to more fuel-efficient engines to assist them in coping with rising marine fuel prices in coastal Alaska," Governor Parnell said.

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