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Governor Orders State to Intervene in Izembek Case

June 30, 2014, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced that the State of Alaska has filed a Motion to Intervene in support of the City of King Cove and other plaintiffs who are seeking to force the Department of the Interior to reconsider its decision regarding the proposed land exchange in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

“After years of putting birds over the well-being of Alaskans, it’s time for the Obama administration to agree to this exchange,” Governor Parnell said. “After all, the State of Alaska is willing to exchange more than 40,000 acres of state lands for merely nine miles of life-saving road.”

In the congressionally approved land exchange that the Interior Department rejected, the state and King Cove Corporation would have added more than 50,000 acres of state and corporate land to the refuge in exchange for 206 acres of federal land that is necessary for the road to connect King Cove to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay.

During times of severe weather, it can be extremely dangerous or impossible to transport critically ill patients from King Cove to Cold Bay by air or sea. Transport could be more safely accomplished by road to Cold Bay Airport where larger aircraft can land and safely conduct medical evacuation to locations such as Anchorage.

The state will be joining the City of King Cove and other plaintiffs in asking the federal court to order the Interior Department to reverse its decision.

A copy of the Motion to Intervene is available at:

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/mti_063014.pdf

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