Great American Outdoors Act funding, including more than $7 million in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, will bolster outdoor recreation in Alaska
KING COVE, Alaska — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Governor Mike Dunleavy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams visited King Cove today, where they met with elected and Native leaders and community members, spoke with students at the King Cove School, and toured the King Cove Clinic. The Secretary committed to visit King Cove early in her tenure, as part of her ongoing effort to hear directly from communities about the policies that impact them.
Secretary Haaland, Senator Murkowski and Director Williams also visited Cold Bay, where they toured the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and discussed ongoing and projected infrastructure investments at the Refuge. The visit highlighted the importance of federal investments in infrastructure and much-needed maintenance in Alaska’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas and Tribal schools. The visit comes as the Interior Department honors Earth Week, a time to renew our collective commitment to protect our planet for current and future generations.
During the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge visit, Secretary Haaland learned about the more than $56.7 million in investments to Alaska through fiscal years 2021 and 2022 National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration (LRF) funding, as authorized in the Great American Outdoors Act. This includes more than $7 million in infrastructure investments for Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to modernize facilities and repair seismic issues.
In addition to the $7 million through LRF, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is also slated to receive $1.67 million in funding for transportation improvements through the Federal Lands Transportation Program, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation. This funding is part of a multi-year plan to design and replace two damaged culverts with new aquatic organism passage structures.
Great American Outdoors Act investments will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to create good-paying, union jobs and build back better by improving recreation facilities, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures, as well as projects to increase visitor access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges and parking areas.
The LRF fiscal year 2021 investments provided $26.1 million to the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and National Park Service for projects in Alaska, including:
- $19.27 million for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to replace concessioner housing units. This project will address deferred maintenance, safety, and accessibility issues in the Glacier Bay Lodge concessions housing. It will allow the Lodge rooms to be returned to public-use and increase the economic viability of the Lodge.
- $3.5 million for Campbell Creek Science Center to rebuild the parking lot to eliminate pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
- $1.9 million for Sourdough Campground Bridge to replace an aged road bridge that is deteriorating.
- $636,000 for Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to modernize facilities and repair seismic issues for phase ONE of the design, which includes the replacement of water and sewer lines and seismic and architectural building rehabilitations.
- $440,000 for Fort Egbert National Historic Landmark to remove asbestos and lead materials and repaint the exteriors of five buildings.
- $276,000 for Glennallen Log Bunkhouse to dispose of unneeded buildings in poor and unrepairable condition.
- $100,000 for Campbell Tract Recreation Access repairs to realign public trails to provide safer public access.
The LRF fiscal year 2022 investments provided $30.6 million to the Service and BLM for projects in Alaska, including:
- $13.5 million to modernize outdoor recreational access facilities and transportation assets to eliminate deferred maintenance, improve the visitor experience, and increase pedestrian safety at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
- $10.4 million to access repairs at White Mountains National Recreation Area. The project repairs the Nome Creek Road, which provides year-round access to the White Mountains National Recreation Area and sole access to Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The 18-mile road will be repaired by grading and restoring lost aggregate and surfacing, repairing culverts to improve drainage, and repairing the site roads providing access to Mt. Prindle and Ophir Creek campgrounds and other spur roads.
- $6.6 million to modernize facilities and repair seismic issues at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Visit the Department’s interactive data visualization tool to view LRF-funded projects funded in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.