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Conservation groups sue to block Izembek

 Izembek NWR fall colors (Photo from Kristine Sowl/USFWS)
Izembek NWR fall colors (Photo from Kristine Sowl/USFWS) (KTUU)
Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 2:29 PM AKDT
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Nine conservation groups are suing the U.S. Interior Department over a proposed Alaska land swap that could lead to a road through a national wildlife refuge.

The groups seek to block a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula.

The refuge contains internationally recognized habitat for migrating waterfowl.

Residents of the village of King Cove for decades have sought a land connection through the refuge to Cold Bay, which has an all-weather airport and better access to emergency flights.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013 concluded a road would damage the Izembek watershed.

A federal judge in March rejected a previous land swap. In July, the King Cove Native Corp. proposed the new land swap, which is the basis for the lawsuit.

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