Action Alert: Defend the Brooks Range

The Ambler Road Would Destroy One of America’s Wildest Places – Help Stop It.

Not the Ambler Road (Dalton Highway). PC Getty Images

April 19, 2024

Update

In April 2024, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) chose the “No Action” alternative for the Ambler Road project, following advocacy efforts by thousands of individuals and organizations like us, including 135,000 people who called for this option during the November 2023 comment period. Despite this victory, the decision is pending finalization after a 30-day objection process, during which road proponents may challenge it. Winter Wildlands Alliance and partners remain committed to defending the Brooks Range, while appreciating the Biden Administration’s support in protecting the region’s wildlife and Indigenous communities.

November 29, 2023

In mid-October, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (draft SEIS) for the proposed Ambler Road, a 211-mile industrial access road cutting through the heart of the Brooks Range. The BLM is accepting comments on the SEIS through December 19, 2023. It’s important for the public to speak up and tell the BLM to say no to the Ambler Road. 

What’s the Issue?

If built, the Ambler Road would bring irreparable harm to the western Arctic. Environmental impacts from the road include:

  • Water impacts: The road would cross almost 3,000 streams, 11 rivers, and thousands of acres of wetlands. These are some of the last waters in the United States to be untouched by human development, and provide habitat for salmon and sheefish – species that are critical food sources for local residents.
  • Wildlife impacts: The road would bisect the Western Arctic caribou herd’s ancient migration pathway, the longest land migration route in North America.
  • National Parks: The road would cut through the currently-roadless Gates of the Arctic National Park.
  • Climate Change: By disturbing thousands of acres of permafrost the road would exacerbate climate impacts in a rapidly-warming Arctic. 

These environmental impacts would threaten the subsistence livelihoods of several Athabaskan and Iñupiat villages, as well as others who live in the western Brooks Range. The road would also bring numerous social impacts to local Indigenous communities. And, once constructed, the road would allow development of a massive mining district that would only further exacerbate these impacts.

How to Take Action Now

We, and a coalition of local and national partners, took immediate legal action to prevent progress on the Ambler Road when permits were initially issued in July 2020. Our litigation is on hold while the BLM re-considers its decision to issue the permits.

We appreciate that the Biden Administration had the BLM take a second look at the road’s impacts. This second look – the SEIS – is intended to address some of the legal problems underlying the original decisions and includes an alternative that demonstrates why the impacts from the Ambler Road are too great for the BLM to approve this project.

Now, we need your voice to help amplify our call for the BLM to choose the “No Action Alternative” and revoke the permits for the Ambler Road. Join us by signing the petition below.