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Federal Judge Reverses Interior Secretary’s Alaska Land Exchange (1)

March 30, 2019, 12:20 AMUpdated: March 30, 2019, 2:18 AM

A federal judge in Anchorage invalidated a land-swap signed last year between then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and an Alaska native group that had long sought to build an 11-mile evacuation road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

“The Secretary’s decision to enter into the Exchange Agreement with the King Cove Corporation on January 22, 2018 constituted an unlawful agency action in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason wrote in a March 29 order vacating the agreement.

The order came in a suit disputing the Interior Department’s ability to use land swap authority under the Alaska National ...