Judge invalidates proposed land swap for Alaska refuge road

Izembek NWR fall colors (Photo from Kristine Sowl/USFWS)
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A judge has vacated a proposed land exchange aimed at building a road through a national wildlife refuge in Alaska, finding procedural violations.

The judge ruled Interior Secretary David Bernhardt failed to provide adequate reasoning to support a change in policy when he entered into a land exchange agreement with King Cove Corp.

The Interior Department, under the Obama administration, had declined a proposed land swap to build a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

Supporters of a proposed road that would connect King Cove to an all-weather airport see the matter as a safety issue.

Critics say a road could damage an internationally recognized habitat for migrating waterfowl.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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