- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Another risky Alaska flight, courtesy of Obama administration regulations
Interior’s decision to refuse road requires medevacs in remote area
Question of the Day
Another seriously injured patient has been required to undergo a risky flight by medevac in treacherous conditions from King Cove, Alaska, the result of the Interior Department’s refusal to allow the construction of a 10-mile road.
A 58-year-old fisherman was transported by Coast Guard medevac Monday after severely injuring his eye when he was sprayed with a high-pressure hose while aboard the M/V Golden Alaska near Unimak Island in the North Pacific Ocean.
The ship brought him to the deep-water port at King Cove, Alaska, where physician’s assistant Katie Eby said he needed to be transported to the Cold Bay airport in order to fly to the nearest hospital in Anchorage for treatment, according to a King Cove press release.
“We managed his pain and bandaged his eye to protect it from further injury, but he needed to get to an eye specialist as soon as possible,” said Ms. Eby in a statement. “Our treatment here at the King Cove Clinic is very limited. Fortunately, the brave Coast Guard crew was able to fly in when others could not. But if we had a road, we could have driven to Cold Bay much sooner to meet the life flight team and not risked the lives of the Coast Guard and the patient.”
The episode marks the eighth emergency transport of a patient from the town’s clinic to the Anchorage hospital since Interior Secretary Sally Jewell nixed in December an agreement to build a single-lane, 10-mile unpaved road from King Cove to Cold Bay.
Five years ago, federal and state officials reached an agreement on a land swap that would have traded 43,000 acres of state and private land for the 206 acres of federal land needed to build the road.
But the road would have run through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and environmentalists have argued that the construction would imperil the eelgrass fed on by migratory birds.
“After careful consideration, I support the Service’s conclusion that building a road through the Refuge would cause irreversible damage not only to the Refuge itself, but to the wildlife that depend on it,” said Ms. Jewell in a Dec. 23 statement. “Izembek is an extraordinary place — internationally recognized as vital to a rich diversity of species — and we owe it to future generations to think about long-term solutions that do not insert a road through the middle of this refuge and designated wilderness.”
Of the eight emergency flights, five have come via Coast Guard medevac at a minimum cost of $210,000 per flight, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican who is pushing the Interior Department to reconsider its decision.
“In the meantime, King Cove tribal and community leaders are providing information to send to Jewell this month which will demonstrate, once again, that the road is the only viable transportation alternative,” said the statement.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Westerners call for oversight to combat federal land managers
- Protesters rally in Colorado to support Israel's fight with Hamas
- Plagiarism scandal threatens Senate campaign of Montana Democrat John Walsh
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Act would create tax-free savings accounts for the disabled
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq