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Alaska to sue for road through wildlife refuge

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DAN JOLING | April 7, 2014 07:41 PM EST | AP


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says his state will sue the federal government to put a road through a national wildlife refuge.

The Republican says in a news release Monday that the village of King Cove needs access to emergency medical flights provided at an all-weather airport in Cold Bay.

Parnell says it was unconscionable for the Interior Department to reject the one-lane gravel road through the Izembek (EYE'-zem-bek) National Wildlife Refuge in December.

Environmental groups strongly oppose the road planned for an isthmus along the 150-square-mile Izembek Lagoon.

The lagoon is home to world's largest-known bed of eelgrass, which provides fodder to migratory waterfowl — such as Pacific brant, endangered Steller's eiders — as they head south for the winter.