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WASHINGTON, DC – During a congressional hearing today, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott underscored the Walker-Mallott Administration’s support of a road that could connect the isolated village of King Cove to the nearby community of Cold Bay and provide emergency medical transportation for the residents.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Lisa Murkowski, held the hearing to conduct oversight on options for addressing the continuing lack of reliable emergency medical transportation of King Cove, a remote community located in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
As an Alaska Native, hunter, fisherman, and former chair of the Nature Conservancy of Alaska, Mallott said constructing a road between King Cove and Cold Bay is the only viable, long-term and responsible thing to do to ensure the health and safety for those who call the community of King Cove home.
“We need to recognize that we (the people) are as important on this land as anything else,” said Mallott. “For those who live in rural and remote Alaska, those living, breathing human beings who have been there for generations and for those who arrived yesterday and choose and desire to live there for continuing generations– their reality, their importance, their aspirations, their desire to live on that land needs to be recognized and brought into a proper balance that does not exist today.”
Over the past three decades, scores of King Cove residents have been medically evacuated from King Cove to the nearby community of Cold Bay and, regrettably, more than a dozen individuals have passed away – either due to weather-related aircraft accidents or the inability to obtain timely medical treatment.
Mallott was one of several Alaskans who spoke at the hearing. Speakers included:
Denise Desiderio, Policy Director, National Congress of American Indians; Stanley Mack, Mayor, Aleutians East Borough; Della Trumble, Spokeswoman, Agdaagux Tribal Council and King Cove Corporation; John Whiddon, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard (ret.); and Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska Regional Director, The Wilderness Society.
Watch Lt. Governor Mallott’s testimony below:
The Lt Governor’s testimony can be read here.
Source: State of Alaska