Environmental groups sue to block road through Alaska refuge

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Nine environmental groups are suing the U.S. government to prevent a land trade that could lead to construction of a road through a national wildlife refuge in Alaska.

The groups say a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge on the Alaska Peninsula will harm internationally recognized habitat for migrating waterfowl.

The lawsuit says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lacks the authority to remove land from a refuge established by Congress. Zinke signed an agreement Jan. 22 to swap refuge land for private land.

A trade could lead to construction of a road between the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay.

King Cove residents say land access to an all-weather airport at Cold Bay will save lives of people needing emergency medical care.

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