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The right road

February 09, 2009

Re "A win for wilderness," editorial, Feb. 4

The Times unfairly called one provision of the omnibus public lands bill, allowing a road to be built through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, "troubling." In fact, this would be a win-win for all concerned.

This road would be a lifesaving link for the mostly indigenous residents of the area facing medical emergencies. The federal government would receive 61,000 acres of pristine habitat in exchange for a small right-of-way road that would take up 206 acres.

The Aleutians East Borough is incurring an annual deficit of $1 million from operating its hovercraft for medical emergencies, and cannot afford to sustain this long term. Furthermore, the hovercraft cannot operate during severe weather.

Laura Tanis

Anchorage

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