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Anchorage Daily News: Compass: Save lives with a road from King Cove to Cold Bay


At our request, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn traveled to King Cove in June to see the need for the road first-hand. He got the true Alaska experience: his flight out of King Cove was grounded by bad weather, so he was forced to return to Cold Bay on a long and turbulent fishing boat ride.

Now it’s up to Secretary Jewell, because federal law requires her to determine whether the road is in the public interest. She can side with those who believe King Cove residents should face the Hobson’s choice of continuing to live with unacceptable risks to their health or leaving their homes in a thriving commercial fishing community with the area’s only deepwater port.

She can side with those who claim the road harms habitat, even though King Cove residents have been good stewards of the area for generations.

Or Secretary Jewell can instead be an inclusive, creative problem solver who strikes a balance in the public interest: protecting human health and advancing human dignity as she adds valuable land to the refuge.

We hope Secretary Jewell will see that too many people have suffered and died to delay this life-saving road.