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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alaskans battle for survival against feds’ protection of migratory birds -- By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times

For Della Trumble and others in her town of King Cove, Alaska, the Obama administration chose bird feed over their health and safety.

Washington's refusal to allow a 10-mile gravel road between King Cove and the airport at Cold Bay is a matter of life or death for Alaskans who rely on quick access to airports and hospital flights as much as migratory birds rely on the eel grass that the Interior Department would rather preserve.

The most terrifying day of Ms. Trumble's life was in 2010 when a small plane carrying her daughter slammed into a makeshift airfield near their home in the remote fishing village.

"It was one of the most frightening things you'll ever watch in your life. I saw it happen, and I ran down the runway at about 100 miles per hour to get to the plane," said Ms. Trumble. "Fortunately, everybody was OK. They had sore necks from the impact."

Not everyone who flies between King Cove, population 965, and the all-weather airport at Cold Bay is so lucky. Nineteen people have died there in airplane crashes, some of them emergency responders and patients attempting to reach the regional hospital in Anchorage.

Five years ago, Alaskans thought they had a solution: Swap 60,000 acres of state and private land with 206 acres of federal land to build the gravel road between King Cove and Cold Bay, which would allow seriously ill and injured residents to travel to the more reliable airport by road instead of by plane.

In December, however, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the plan. The road would run through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and environmental groups worry that it could imperil the eel grass that serves as food for migratory birds.

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