Dept of Interior Farewells Ken Salazar, Still No Resolution on King Cove, ANWR

Salazar: “We can create a more perfect America, and we can create a more perfect world.”

 

That was outgoing Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, as he bid a formal farewell to the agency which oversees around 60 percent of the land in Alaska. Salazar hands the job to Sally Jewell, but not without some lingering issues.

 

Senator Lisa Murkowski earlier this month had threatened to hold up the nomination of Jewell if the Department insisted on denying King Cove an emergency access road.

 

Sen. Murkowski(R-AK): “…and if this is the attitude of this Department of Interior, that we are going to respect the animals and respect the birds, but we are not going to respect the people who live there, this the wrong way to be going. This is the wrong way to be going, Mr. President, and I will not stand for it.”

 

That road still hasn’t eventuated, but Salazar left instructions for Jewell to visit the community and hold a public meeting, which satisfied Sen. Murkowski.

 

Jewell will also have to tackle concerns over the future of ANWR. A record of decision was expected this spring on the future management, and a new plan for the Refuge.

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