Publisher's note: This story really got to me! It's simple enough really; a small, very remote fishing village in Alaska...where US Citizens live, work, and play, has being denied an emergency road for over three decades. These people are not asking for another Al/Can Highway, they're asking for a very simple, much needed 11 mile gravel access road that would lead to a year round airport. Not so they can jet set around the planet, but so they can get to emergency medical facilities when needed.
Since they started this quest, nineteen of their friends and family members have died because they couldn't get through to said medical facilities. During the most recent plea for this road in August of last year, Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, (not an elected official, I might add) stated after listening to the stories of the locals, "...I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals.”
Excuse me?! Once again, a very heartless, over-reaching political appointee has decided that human life is not as important as some trumped up hazard to wildlife or the environment. Perhaps recognizing the medical aspects of this need, Secretary Jewel felt it doesn't fall in line with her boss' ACA.
While I'm no expert on such matters, I would suggest the State of Alaska invoke the 10th Amendment and simply build the road themselves.
Fox News: In one of Alaska's most remote outposts, where a thousand hardy souls make their homes, the Obama administration has put the fate of birds and bears above the lives of people, blocking construction of an 11-mile gravel trail connecting a tiny fishing hamlet to a life-saving airport.
For more than three decades the predominantly Aleut fishing community of King Cove has been fighting to build a one-lane,gravel track connecting the Cove to the nearby hamlet of Cold Bay. What they have gotten is 30 years of flat-out federal refusals or stall tactics.
Cove residents say a road is necessary so they can reach an all-weather airport in Cold Bay that will transport them to Anchorage, about 625 miles away, for medical treatment. They say that in emergency situations, it's a matter of life and death.
Late last year, though, the Department of Interior announced it was rejecting plans for a proposed land swap that would allow the road to be built. The Dec. 23 decision cited the negative environmental impact on grizzly bears, caribou and water fowl like the Pacific black brant.
“(Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s) decision on King Cove was heartless and wrong, and her message to me ever since has been that I need to ‘just get over it and move on,’” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told FoxNews.com. “She thinks it’s over because she’s made her decision. But it’s not done. And it is not going to be done until those people have access to safety.”