Anchorage public hearing tonight on Izembek road proposal

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public testimony Thursday night in Anchorage regarding a proposed road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

The agency has prepared a draft environmental impact statement for the road proposal near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula.

Residents of King Cove want improved access to Cold Bay and its all-weather airport. They say airplanes often can't fly between the two communities and emergency patients should not have to risk a harrowing boat ride.

Defenders of Wildlife says Congress provided King Cove with $37.5 million in 1998 for a hovercraft and other improvements in exchange for leaving the sensitive wetlands in the refuge intact.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Campbell Creek Science Center.

Associated Press