Trump administration pushes controversial road project through Alaska wildlife refuge

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Host Pat Thurston dives into another episode of the Trump administration versus planet earth.

Trump’s interior of secretary, Ryan Zinke, is pushing a plan that would allow the construction of a new road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

The 492-square-mile refuge, located in the small town of King Cove, has been under federal protection since 1960, with former officials, from both Democratic and Republican parties, vetoing the proposed road due to the irreversible environmental damage it would cause.

Those in favor of the road argue that it is a matter of life and death for King Cove residents, who are only able to access emergency medical facilities via air travel, which can be hindered at night and in inclement weather conditions. Residents currently have access to a federally funded clinic, a compromise created in the 90s.

Critics of the road say the argument for residents’ safety masks the true motive behind the project, giving King Cove’s largest salmon cannery access to one of the state’s premiere airports — making this a matter of economics, not a matter of public interest.

Listen to the full segment below to hear where Thurston stands on the topic.


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