Date: Wednesday 20 April 2022
Contact: [email protected]
KING COVE, Alaska – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams visited King Cove today where they met with elected and local leaders and community members, spoke with students from King Cove School, and toured the King Cove Clinic. The secretary pledged to visit King Cove early in her tenure as part of her ongoing effort to hear directly from communities about policies affecting her.
Minister Haaland, Senator Murkowski and Director Williams also visited Cold Bay where they toured the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and discussed ongoing and planned infrastructure investments at the refuge. The visit highlighted the importance of government investment in infrastructure and much-needed maintenance in Alaska’s national parks, forests, wildlife sanctuaries, recreation areas and tribal schools. The visit comes as the Home Office honors Earth Week, a time to renew our collective commitment to protecting our planet for present and future generations.
During the visit to the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Secretary Haaland learned of Alaska’s more than $56.7 million investment in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to fund national parks and public lands restoration (LRF), such as in the Great American Outdoors Act Approved. This includes more than $7 million in infrastructure investments for the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to upgrade facilities and address seismic issues.
In addition to the $7 million from LRF, the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is also scheduled to receive $1.67 million in funding for transportation improvements through the Federal Lands Transportation Program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation. This funding is part of a multi-year plan to design and replace two damaged culverts with new aquatic passage structures.
The Great American Outdoors Act investments will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of creating and better rebuilding high-paying, unionized jobs through recreational facilities, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures, and projects to improve visitor access improved are the restoration and repair of roads, paths, bridges and parking lots.
The LRF financial year 2021 provides for investments $26.1 million to the Bureau of Land Management, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the National Park Service for projects in Alaska, including:
- $19.27 Millions for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to replace franchised housing units. This project addresses delayed maintenance, safety and accessibility issues at the Glacier Bay Lodge concession accommodations. This means that the lodge rooms can be used by the public again and the profitability of the lodge can be increased.
- $3.5 million for Campbell Creek Science Center to remodel the parking lot to eliminate pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
- $1.9 million for the Sourdough Campground Bridge to replace an old road bridge that is deteriorating.
- $636,000 for the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to upgrade facilities and address seismic issues for phase one of the design, which includes water and sewer line replacement, seismic and architectural building rehabilitation.
- $440,000 for the Fort Egbert National Historic Landmark to remove asbestos and lead materials and repaint the facades of five buildings.
- $276,000 for Glennallen Log Bunkhouse to dispose of unneeded buildings in poor and unrepairable condition.
- $100,000 for repairs to the Campbell Tract Recreation Access to realign public pathways to allow for safer public access.
LRF investments in fiscal 2022 provided the service and BLM with $30.6 million for projects in Alaska, including:
- $13.5 million Upgrading of outdoor recreational access facilities and transportation to eliminate delayed maintenance, improve visitor experience and increase pedestrian safety at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
- $10.4 million Access to repairs in White Mountains National Recreation Area. The project repairs the Nome Creek Road, which provides year-round access to the White Mountains National Recreation Area and sole access to the Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The 18-mile road will be repaired by leveling and restoring lost aggregate and pavement, repairing culverts to improve drainage, and repairing site roads providing access to Mt. Prindle and Ophir Creek campgrounds and other dead-end roads enable.
- $6.6 million Upgrade facilities and resolve seismic issues at the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Visit the department’s interactive data visualization tool to view LRF-funded projects funded in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.