LifeMed Alaska now provides year-round medevac service to the Aleutians. The air ambulance service has operated a seasonal base in Ualaska during commercial fishing seasons and openings.
"Given the fact that Dutch Harbor is farther from Anchorage than Chicago is from New York, decreasing response times during medical emergencies is crucial for patients through the Aleutians and surrounding areas," said CEO Russell Edwards.
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Last weekend the T-jacks and Rookies were at regionals for basketball
Rookies took 1st place and our rank 2nd for 1A Highschool
T-Jacks took 2nd place. So both teams are in Anchorage and ready to play
1A state basketball championship. Games start on March 14-17, 2018 at
The Alaska Airlines Center.
Aleutians East Borough Votes to Join Lawsuit to Defend King Cove Land Exchange Agreement with Interior Department
Anchorage, AK – March 2, 2018 – The Aleutians East Borough Assembly on Thursday voted to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental groups against the Department of the Interior for signing a land exchange agreement that will allow the community of King Cove to build a life-saving connector road to a nearby all-weather airport.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed the land exchange agreement at the end of January with the King Cove Corporation, which is comprised of members from two local federally-recognized Aleut tribes. National environmental groups sued Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department within days of the signing of the land exchange agreement.
Parties to the filing are the King Cove Group, including the King Cove Corporation, the Aleutians East Borough, the City of King Cove, the Agdaagux Tribe and the Native Village of Belkofski.
“It is important that the people of King Cove and the Borough send a clear signal that they support the land exchange and construction of a road connecting the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the King Cove Corporation.
The Aleut of King Cove have sought to secure federal approval of a road corridor to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport for more than three decades. A small stretch of road, approximately 12 miles long, is needed to link King Cove to the existing road system within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the King Cove Corporation, as the land owner, has a legal and moral obligation to its tribal shareholders to intervene in the legal challenge to defend the health and safety of its residents.
The motion approved by the borough assembly directs the attorney representing the King Cove Group to intervene on the side of the Interior Department in the legal challenge.
“After fighting for decades for a road, we will do everything in our power to defend the land exchange,” Trumble said. “This is a matter of life and death for us.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE KING COVE T-JACKS! 2018 Peter Pan Invitational Champions!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE KING COVE ROOKIES! 2018 Peter Pan Invitational Champions!
On Feb, 15, 2018, the Coast Guard medevaced a 58-year-old King Cove man after he injured his back from falling off a ladder.
King Cove, AK – Feb. 20, 2018 – King Cove, AK – On Thursday, Feb. 15, a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew deployed from Air Station Kodiak to King Cove to evacuate a 58-year-old man who had injured his spine in a fall from a ladder.
Weather conditions in King Cove were such that traditional fixed-wing aircraft could not land at the small community landing strip. At approximately 6 p.m., USGS transferred the patient to Cold Bay – about 25 miles away – where he was later put on a Guardian Flight for transport to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.
The community of King Cove has sought secure land access to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay for the past 38 years. The King Cove Native Corp., whose shareholders include members of the federally-recognized Agdaagux and Belkofski tribes, signed a land exchange agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior in January to establish a road corridor to better protect the health and safety of the residents of King Cove.
Thursday’s medevac marks the sixth emergency evacuation of 2018 and the first requiring the involvement of the Coast Guard. Since 2014, there have been a total of 75 medevacs. Eighteen involved the Coast Guard.
King Cove, AK – Jan. 31, 2018 – A tribal organization in King Cove, Alaska issued the following statement after environmentalists filed a lawsuit challenging the King Cove land exchange agreement signed by the U.S. Department of the Interior:
“It is unfortunate that the special interest groups continue to ignore the health and safety concerns of the residents of King Cove,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the King Cove (Native) Corporation. “We are thankful that the current administration has listened to our concerns and has agreed to a land exchange that will allow us to better protect our families. We are confident the courts will uphold the agreement.”
Washington, DC – Jan. 22, 2018 – Tribal and civic leaders from King Cove, Alaska today applauded U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for championing a land exchange with the King Cove Native Corp. that will allow the community to establish reliable overland access to the all-weather airport in nearby Cold Bay.
“The people of King Cove deeply appreciate the dedication and hard work of Secretary Zinke and his team for making this land exchange possible,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the King Cove Native Corp. and a member of the local Agdaagux tribe. “Today’s agreement goes a long way toward restoring our faith that the federal government takes seriously its trust responsibility to Alaska Natives.”
The Aleut residents of King Cove have worked for more than three decades to win federal approval of a life-saving road corridor connecting their isolated community to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport. A small stretch of road, approximately 12 miles long, is all that is needed to link King Cove to the existing road system within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which is located next to a 10,000-foot runway build by the U.S. Military during World War II. The corridor – through an area the Aleut stewarded for thousands of years before the federal government came along – will provide dependable ground transportation during medical emergencies.
“We have spent decades fighting for this road for one reason – it is critical for our survival,” Trumble said. “We have already lost too many friends and loved ones for there to be any legitimate reason to oppose this agreement. A small road connecting two remote communities may not seem like an important issue to many people, but to us, it is a lifeline to the outside world.”
The federally recognized Agdaagux and Belkofski tribes of King Cove make up the largest Aleut community in Alaska with more than 700 tribal members combined.
When the federal government created the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in 1980, it cut off the traditional land route between King Cove and the old World War II outpost of Cold Bay. The residents of King Cove have been trying to get road access to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay ever since.
There have been 18 deaths attributed to the lack of road access, either in plane crashes or the inability to receive timely medical treatment. In a community with no hospital or doctor, King Cove residents must fly 600 miles to Anchorage for most medical procedures.
“Having the peace of mind that our loved ones will be safe when they travel to and from our community – something most Americans take for granted – means the world to us,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. “We would like to thank Secretary Zinke for taking this important step to protect our children and grandchildren. We are also grateful for the steadfast support of Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, Alaska Governor Bill Walker, the Alaska Legislature, the National Congress of American Indians and the Alaska Federation of Natives.”
The agreement signed today begins a process between Interior and the King Cove Native Corp., which is made up of tribal members from the local Agdaagux and Belkofski tribes, of identifying land of equal value to be exchanged with the federal government to construct a single-lane, restricted-access road.
King Cove, AK – July 20, 2017 – King Cove Tribal and Community leaders are delighted after House Bill 218 passed during a hearing on the floor this morning in Washington, D.C.
“We are so grateful to Congressman Don Young for his unflagging support in pushing to get this bill passed,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the King Cove (Native) Corporation. “This is another step forward in the process of getting our life-saving road. We so appreciate all the support we’ve received from Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, as well as Alaska Governor Bill Walker, the Alaska Legislature, the National Congress of American Indians and the Alaska Federation of Indians. We won’t stop fighting to get this essential single-lane gravel road until our people have access to the nearby all-weather Cold Bay Airport. The health and safety of our people are so important.”
“We are also happy that the Trump Administration and the Department of the Interior are willing to work with us on this issue,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. “We are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. We and our loved ones are hopeful we will soon have the peace of mind knowing we won’t have to fly or travel by boat in dangerous weather during a medical emergency. That means the world to us.”
Since the Obama Administration's Interior Secretary Sally Jewell denied the road on Dec. 23, 2013, there has been a total of 63 medevacs. Of those, 17 involved the Coast Guard and 46 were non-Coast Guard medevacs. The remote community of King Cove is only accessible by small plane or boat. The community is frequently plagued by hurricane-force winds, stormy weather and dense fog, which grounds or delays plane travel at least 30 percent of the time.
King Cove, AK – June 15, 2017 -- The City of King Cove is pleased to announce that its new Waterfall Creek hydroelectric facility went online earlier this month. The new hydro has been performing exceptionally well and producing up to 400KW.
Waterfall Creek is the community’s second run-of-the-river facility. King Cove’s first hydro facility, Delta Creek, came online in 1994 and is about twice the size of Waterfall Creek. Together, these two renewable energy sources are expected to produce about 75% of the city’s annual power demand of 4.5 megawatts.
These two hydroelectric facilities provide King Cove with the distinction of being the most prolific, single-site renewable energy community in rural Alaska.
“The community is very excited about Waterfall Creek being completed and does not expect to hear the sound of our diesel support system until winter,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack.
The final project cost is expected to be about $6.7 million. The project has been funded with $3.3 million (50%) in grants from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Aleutians East Borough; $3 million (45%) in long-term debt from the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank and AEA’s Power Project Fund; and $400,000 (5%) in contributions from the city.
The project required twelve years from the initial concept, design, permitting, funding and construction.
“The city’s perseverance in completing the project has largely been driven by 22 years of success with Delta Creek,” said Mayor Mack. “This hydro has displaced more than three million gallons during this time, with more than 50% of the community’s total power production coming from this renewable energy source.”
King Cove’s current cost of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity is $0.30. This cost is one of the least expensive throughout rural Alaska where the average cost is $0.45/kWh. The average cost of electricity in the lower 48 is $0.12/kWh. With Waterfall Creek online, the city is confident that it can maintain or possibly even lower its kWh rate.
There is some irony with the timing of Waterfall Creek coming online and King Cove being simultaneously informed by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska that the community is no longer eligible for a power cost equalization (PCE) subsidy. About 186 communities throughout rural Alaska receive the PCE subsidy, including more than 35 communities that have some amount of renewable power generation.
The community is planning a formal dedication of the Waterfall Creek hydro facility later this summer. The city will also be issuing a detailed report later this summer documenting the project’s unique history, challenges and what the city can expect its renewable energy future to look like.
King Cove is a community of 925 residents, located 625 air miles southwest of Anchorage at the western end of the Alaska Peninsula. The community was settled in 1911. King Cove incorporated as a city in 1949 when Alaska was still a territory and became a first-class city in 1974. The city adopted a mayor-council form of local government. The city has employed a city administrator since 1976.
The city has an annual budget of $5 million. The city’s Electric Department comprises about 20% of the total budget. The city has 25 full-time employees dispersed throughout the departments of Administration, Public Safety, Public Works, Harbor/Port, Electric and Recreation/Teen Center.
King Cove is one of the largest Aleut communities in Alaska. It is a progressive waterfront community with two harbors supporting a year-round fisheries economy. One of the state’s largest fish processing operations, Peter Pan Seafoods, is located in King Cove.
King Cove Optimistic President-elect Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Nominee Ryan Zinke Will Get Community their Life-Saving Road
King Cove, AK – Dec 23, 2016 – Today marks the three-year anniversary since U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected a life-saving road from remote King Cove, Alaska to the all-weather airport in nearby Cold Bay. Since that time, there have been 55 medevacs from the community, which is often plagued by hurricane-force winds, stormy weather and dense fog. As disappointing as Secretary Jewell’s decision was, today King Cove leaders and residents are feeling very hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Interior Secretary Nominee, Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana, will get the job done.
“Unlike Secretary Jewell, we believe President-elect Donald Trump and Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke value human lives as well as birds,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. “We are confident they will take action because they understand that the lives of King Cove residents matter. We’re encouraged that we may finally get access to a small life-saving road corridor, and our dream of safe passage to the Cold Bay airport will become a reality.”
Recently, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski reported that she’s encouraged by her talks with Zinke relating to the King Cove road, stating that she believes he is “very favorably inclined to be supportive.” Her enthusiasm boosted the spirits of King Cove community members and tribal leaders who have campaigned for a safe and reliable road connection through the Izembek Wildlife Refuge to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport for 35-plus years.
“We are optimistic that a change of administration will mean we will finally get to the finish line,” said Della Trumble, spokeswoman for the King Cove (Native) Corporation. “This issue is and always has been about saving lives. Without a dependable and safe solution, it’s only a matter of time before someone loses his or her life. It’s time to do the right thing and solve this urgent matter once and for all.”
“Our weather can be very severe,” said Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack. “Medical emergencies in King Cove happen in all kinds of weather. A road connection has been proven to be the most reliable and safest option for us. We’re feeling very encouraged that the incoming administration will make it happen.”
So far this year, there have been 17 medevacs: three were conducted by the Coast Guard; 14 were non-Coast Guard. Of the 55 medevacs that occurred since Secretary Jewell rejected the road, 17 were conducted by the Coast Guard. Thirty-eight of the medevacs were non-Coast Guard. Those medevacs included:
The people of King Cove have worked for more than three decades to build a life-saving road corridor linking their isolated community to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport, 25 miles away. The small stretch of road (approximately 11 miles) would connect to existing roads in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and would provide reliable and safe ground transportation to medevac seriously ill or injured patients when travel by plane or boat is too dangerous due to the area’s frequent periods of harsh weather.
In 2009, Congress and the President approved the road and a massive land swap (61,000 acres from the State and the King Cove Corporation) in exchange for a small, 206-acre, single-lane gravel road corridor. However, the deal was blocked by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who issued an order rejecting the road and land exchange just two days before Christmas in 2013.
On June 4, 2014, King Cove tribes, the corporation, the city and the Aleutians East Borough (the King Cove Group) sued Secretary Jewell and other federal officials over the rejection of the road. In June 2015, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies approved legislative language by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, directing the Interior Department to do an equal-value land transfer to allow the construction of the connector road. Unfortunately, the language was not included in the final year-end budget deal.
On Sept. 8, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Holland ruled against the King Cove Group and determined there was no violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (OPLMA). The judge acknowledged that Secretary Jewell based her decision solely on the environmental impacts of the road and ignored the public health and safety impacts. That decision is currently under appeal by the State and the King Cove Group before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In July 2016, Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young introduced identical bills (S. 3204 and H.R. 5777) in both chambers of Congress which mandates an equal value land transfer in exchange for construction of a short, single-lane, non-commercial road linking remote King Cove to the nearby all-weather Cold Bay airport.