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National Wildlife Refuge

Volcanoes simmer in the distance as brown bears wander the shores of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
1 Izembek Street
P.O. Box 127
Cold Bay, AK   99571
E-mail: izembek@fws.gov
Phone Number: 907-532-2445
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Pavlof volcano during the 1996 eruption
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Continued . . .

Russian ships wintered in Bechevin Bay during the first coastal explorations by white men, and the name "Izembek" was bestowed on the region in 1827 by Count Feodor Lutke, when he named Izembek Lagoon in honor of Karl Izembek, surgeon aboard the sloop Moller.

Japanese occupation of the outer Aleutian Islands during World War II stimulated a new interest in this part of Alaska, and strategic military bases were rapidly constructed. Fort Randall and its large air base were developed at Cold Bay, where up to 20,000 army and navy personnel were stationed. The base was abandoned after the war, and after cleanup efforts in the 1980's, only depressions from military barracks dot the landscape along with old military trails that are still visible crossing the fragile tundra.

The community of Cold Bay developed after World War II, and functions primarily as a service and refueling stop for aircraft enroute to the Aleutian Islands and Asia. The runway is the third largest commercial runway in Alaska, at 10,420 feet in length. The nearest native villages of King Cove, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon and Sand Point also serve as commercial fishing centers equipped with canneries and boat harbors.

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