King Cove Residents Praise Governor Parnell for Signing Resolution Urging Interior Secretary to Allow Life-Saving Road

September 19, 2014

King Cove, AK – Sept. 19, 2014 – King Cove residents are applauding Governor Sean Parnell after he signed a legislative resolution today requesting that the U.S. Interior Secretary reconsider her decision to reject a life-saving road corridor to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport. 

“We are so grateful to Governor Parnell for his unwavering support,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. “The governor understands that this road is absolutely necessary to safely medevac seriously ill or injured patients when severe weather won’t allow travel by plane or boat. Without a road, patients must wait hours or even days for the weather to clear. That can mean the difference between life and death.”

Earlier this year, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 30, sponsored by Representative Bob Herron. The resolution asks the federal government and U.S.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to reverse her decision denying the Izembek land exchange and instead allow King Cove residents to have road access to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport for critical health and safety reasons.

“This resolution gives Secretary Jewell the opportunity to rethink her decision and instead demonstrate her compassion for the people of King Cove,” said Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack. “We appreciate the staunch support of the legislature and the governor for the health and safety of our people. This is about protecting the lives of our elders and our children – our future generations.”

“Witnessing Governor Parnell sign House Joint Resolution 30 is symbolic of Alaska’s deep concern for the safety of the Aleut people of King Cove,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the Agdaagux Tribe and the King Cove Corporation. “We can only hope that Secretary Jewell will follow the lead of Alaska’s state leaders.”                                                       


The people of King Cove have battled for more than three decades to get a life-saving road corridor linking the isolated community to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport, located just 25 miles away. The small stretch of road needed (11 miles) would connect to existing roads in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The road would provide reliable and safe transportation to medevac seriously ill or injured patients during frequent periods of harsh weather when travel by plane or boat is too dangerous.

In 2009, Congress and the President approved the road and a massive land swap (56,000 acres from the State and the King Cove Corporation) in exchange for a small single-lane gravel road corridor (205 acres) to the nearby all-weather Cold Bay Airport. Following an environmental impact statement, which King Cove residents believe is biased, Jewell rejected the road and land exchange just two days before Christmas last year. On June 4, 2014, King Cove tribes, the corporation, the city and the Aleutians East Borough sued Jewell and other federal officials over the EIS and the road issueAttached Document or FileLegislative_Resolve_No__38_-_signed_copy.pdf