Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Governor Mike Dunleavy, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams visited Cold Bay and toured the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and talked about ongoing and future infrastructure investment plans in the Refuge.
The visit underscored the importance of federal investment in infrastructure and much-needed maintenance for Alaskan national parks and wildlife refuges, forests, recreation areas, and Tribal schools.
During the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge visit, Secretary Haaland learned about the more than $56.7 million in investments to Alaska in 2021 and 2022 National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration (LRF) funding, authorized under the Great American Outdoors Act.
It constitutes more than $7 million for infrastructure investments to Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to modernize facilities and address the damage caused by earthquakes.
Alongside the $7 million provided by LRF, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is also scheduled to receive $1.67 million for transportation improvements through the Federal Lands Transportation Program, coordinating with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The funding comes from a multi-year plan to design and replace damaged culverts with new passageways for aquatic organisms.
Investments from the Great American Outdoors Act would further 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 also 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 and eliminate pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
- $1.9 million for Sourdough Campground Bridge to replace an old and deteriorating road bridge.
- $636,000 for Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to modernize facilities and repair seismic issues for phase one of the design, including replacing 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 make repairs at the 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 exclusive 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 of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Visit the Department’s interactive data visualization tool to view LRF-funded projects funded in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.