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No Way Home!

Posted by Jay King on September 30, 2013 |

StudySync has just published our first Listen Edition Blast, in partnership with Monica Brady-Myerov, CEO and Founder of Listen Edition, who compliments this new series with her award-winning public radio reporter experience and voiceover introductions. Explore our first audio-enhanced Blast about the proposed eleven-mile road through The Izembek Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.


How can we balance the needs of people and the environment?









The sound of highway traffic may be normal to you, but in the remote town of King Cove, Alaska there is no traffic noise because there is no traffic. That’s because there is no road connecting King Cove to the next largest town. How can we balance the needs of people and the environment?

King Cove residents want to build an eleven-mile gravel road which they say is necessary for emergency evacuations. The proposal, though, is being blocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because the road would cut through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The Izembek Wildlife Refuge is the most unique of Alaska’s many refuges. It protects a variety of fish and wildlife species including caribou, moose and fox.

The debate over this road has been raging for 20 years now, but it has achieved national attention once again because of the appointment of a new Interior Secretary.  The Interior Secretary oversees National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, and her office will have final say on the proposal.

For her part, Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski supports building the road. In recent comments from the Senate floor, Senator Murkowski suggested that if the proposal was denied, we would be sending a message that, “birds are more important than people.”


Listen to this story to hear the full debate about this road and then Blast your ideas about balancing human needs and environmental protections.



King Makers
Audio: King Cove, small town in Alaska, may decide the fate of a key political appointee.
Environmental Groups Press to Kill Alaska Road Project
News: In 2009, environmental groups mobilized to press then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stop the proposed King Cove road.
Road to Nowhere
Opinion: The New York Times comes out in opposition of the so-called “Road to Nowhere” suggesting that current services already provide residents adequate emergency transportation.
King Cove Mayor Speaks Out
Opinion: King Cove Mayor, Henry Mack, writes the Anchorage Daily News to advocate strongly for the proposed road.
Jewell and Murkowski Visit King Cove Clinic
Video: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Senator Lisa Murkowski visit King Cove to hear firsthand from residents about how the proposed road might improve safety in the area.



Should the King Cove road be build through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge?

1) Yes. Senator Murkowski said it all. People are more important than animals.
2) No. Providing a gravel road to one small town in Alaska isn’t worth the price of carving up a pristine natural habitat.
3) Maybe. Both sides should work on a compromise that provides King Cove with an emergency road while preserving the integrity of Izembek.



The number of pennies per acre the U.S. paid Russia in 1867 for the state of Alaska.

Blasts are StudySync's real-time, cross-classroom interaction on topics of cultural significance encouraging multiple viewpoints and deeper analysis. An interactive forum to get students excited about and engaged with current events, each Blast poses a question and allows the student to answer within 140 characters.

Categories: Blasts, Current Events, EdTech, Events, Web-based Learning