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.