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Behind closed doors, DOI now pushing to build road through wilderness area in Alaska’s Izembek NWR

The Interior Department is preparing to set aside a decades-old ban on development in federally protected wilderness areas by pursuing a controversial proposal to build a nearly 12-mile road through a wildlife refuge in ­Alaska.

The project in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge has long been a priority for Alaska officials, who say it is a “lifesaving” link needed to connect a remote Aleutian Islands town of 925 people with the rest of the state. The proposal, which entails turning federal land over to a tribal corporation, fits neatly with the Trump administration’s broader goal of giving more control to local communities like King Cove.