We’re nearing the end of the 60-day public comment period on the proposed Ambler Industrial Access Road, and your voice can make a difference in the protection of this region.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). This is your opportunity to urge the Biden Administration to protect this region by taking the No Action Alternative before the December 22 deadline.
The 211-mile road would cut through vital fish and wildlife habitats and traverse the pristine Gates of the Arctic National Park. The Iñupiaq and Athabascan peoples of this region have thrived here for thousands of years, relying on seasonal plants and migratory animals such as caribou, moose, and salmon. Ambler Road will irreversibly alter the Western Arctic Caribou Herd migration route due to the construction activities, noise, and physical barriers. Traditional food is the healthiest diet provided by the land; however, more than 30 communities in rural Alaska will struggle to feed their families because of Ambler Road.
The project will result in toxic contamination by releasing heavy metals into the environment and the Alaska Native villages directly downstream. Foreign mining companies will extract copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, and other minerals for “green” energy initiatives that will not benefit the communities affected. The United States is promoting false solutions by creating demand for so-called “critical minerals” that will destroy the land and wildlife in one of the most fragile and culturally rich places in the world.
Pollution of the air, water, and wildlife will make healthy communities sick. Gravel mining, excavation, and road construction activities will mobilize cancer-causing asbestos from asbestos-containing mineral deposits that are common in the area. Mining in the region threatens public health by exposing people to heavy metals such as copper, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic substances released in mining processes such as cyanide. Acid mine drainage, releases of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA), and leaching of metals will expose Alaska Native people living in this area to dangerous chemicals that are associated with adverse health effects. It’s not just about a road; it’s about the health of the people, land, water, and wildlife that call this place home.
Key consequences of Ambler Road
Ambler Road threatens to contaminate over 3,000 streams and rivers, which provide drinking water and habitat for fish and wildlife. These are among the last clear, running streams without industrial development in the United States.
Threats to Alaska Native Communities
Alaska Native villages will bear the brunt of toxic chemical contamination of our air, water, and wildlife. Ambler Road and mining activities will cause food insecurity in rural communities where food is already scarce. More than 30 surrounding villages rely on the Western Arctic Caribou herd.
The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve was created to protect the Brooks Range, a sanctuary for migratory birds, caribou, moose, bears, and many more species. We need to protect this area from mines that will bring so much disruption to an undisturbed healthy habitat.
Long Term, Multigenerational Threats
Ambler Road will have irreversible impacts, threatening current and future generations in Alaska Native communities. We need to protect our lands, waters, and wildlife for future generations to enjoy. If one road is built, more harmful extractive development will follow.
We need to opt for the No Action Alternative. You can submit your comments by following the link to the BLM website and then clicking on ‘Participate Now.’
Join us in standing up for our lands, waters, and the health of Alaska Native communities. For present and future generations, we need to protect the last frontier from exploration and extraction. Now is the time to submit your comments before December 22, 2023.
Ambler Road Public Meeting Schedule
Huslia Public Meeting and ANILCA 810 Hearing
Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 7 pm AKT
Location: Multi-Purpose Building, Huslia, Alaska
Anchorage Public Meeting and ANILCA 810 Hearing
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 5 pm AKT
Location: Wilda Marston Theatre, Loussac Library, Anchorage, Alaska
Alatna Public Meeting and ANILCA 810 Hearing
Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 7 pm AKT
Location: Alatna Tribal Office, Alatna, Alaska