U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will visit several Alaska communities during the week of April 17, her office said Monday.
Secretary Haaland is expected to make stops in Anchorage, Fairbanks and King Cove, her office said.
The village of King Cove, on the Alaska Peninsula about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, has long sought an 11-mile road extension through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
The Biden administration has supported the road extension in court, marking a departure from other efforts by the administration to stop major Trump-era decisions that impacted Alaska. A federal appeals court panel last month issued a ruling that could help the road extension move ahead.
During Haaland’s visit, “she will highlight ongoing efforts to support sustainable economies across the state,” Interior said in a written statement. “Throughout her visit, she will meet with local, state, elected and Alaska Native leaders, Interior Department employees, and stakeholders.”
“Her visit will highlight the millions of dollars available in federal investments for the state, including in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the recently signed omnibus package,” her office said.
The agency plays a critical role in Alaska, overseeing more than half the land and employing more than 2,500 people in the state, through offices such as the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary, delayed earlier plans to visit Alaska in September as COVID-19 cases surged. The upcoming trip will be Haaland’s first to Alaska as secretary, her office said in an email.