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“Trump Officials’ Land Swap for Alaska Road Unlawful: Court”

“The Trump administration violated the law when it approved a land swap to build a controversial road through a wildlife refuge, a federal court in Alaska ruled Monday.

The Interior Department’s plan violated the Administrative Procedure Act “because the Secretary failed to provide adequate reasoning to support the change in policy in favor of a land exchange and a road through Izembek,” the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska said.

The 12-mile road would cut through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to connect remote King Cove, Alaska, to the nearby town of Cold Bay, which has an all-weather airport.

The proposal has attracted national attention for years. The Alaska Native King Cove Corporation and its supporters, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), say the project is essential for protecting public health and safety by giving King Cove residents an easier option for medical evacuations to Anchorage.”

Ellen M. Gilmer reports for Bloomberg Environment June 2, 2020.