Zinke and a Road Through Protected Wilderness
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is pushing a controversial plan that would allow a new road through a federally protected wilderness area, according to internal government emails obtained by CNN.
Local officials say the road is needed to transport residents of the isolated city of King Cove to hospitals in the event of medical emergencies. Critics, however, say it would be disastrous, not just for the Izembek refuge but in setting a precedent for construction in wilderness areas nationwide. They also cast doubt on the medical necessity of the project, pointing out that millions of dollars have already been poured into alternate means of transportation and that Trump Administration officials pushed for the road to help King Cove’s primary employer, a Japanese-owned fish cannery.
The project would be the latest in a series of environmental conservation rollbacks by President Trump.