Photo by James Q. Martin
In July 2020, Winter Wildlands Alliance joined a coalition of nine groups on a lawsuit to challenge the Trump Administration’s illegal decision to approve the Ambler industrial access road — a 211-mile long road intended to serve private mining interests in Alaska’s Arctic.
If constructed, the road would stretch across one of the wildest winter landscapes on earth: slicing through Gates of the Arctic National Preserve and industrializing the southern Brooks Range. You can help us stop the road.
What’s at Stake?
It’s not just scenery. The Ambler Road jeopardizes the future of the wildlife and people in the Brooks Range. It would cut across the migration path of the Western Arctic caribou herd – the largest caribou herd left in North America. The Western Arctic caribou herd has the longest land migration of any creature on Earth, but this natural wonder is threatened by the Ambler Road.
What this development risks is an essential food source for many Alaska Native villagers who depend on the caribou to feed their households. The mining road would also cross nearly three thousand streams and rivers, threatening the fisheries that local people depend upon. And, once constructed, the Road would facilitate the development of a massive mining district with its own set of environmental harms.
You Can Help Stop this Road – Take Action!
While we wait for a judge to hear our case, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) is continuing the advance the project under permits granted by the previous Administration. The wheels of law turn slowly, but the Biden administration has the power right now to revoke AIDEA’s Ambler Road permits and commit to a new environmental and cultural review.
Tell the Department of the Interior and the Army Corps of Engineers to protect the Western Arctic caribou, Alaska Native communities, and Alaska’s spectacular wildlands by halting plans for the Ambler mining road!
Update (2/22/2022): On February 22, the Biden Administration acknowledged significant legal problems with the Interior Department’s decision to approve the Ambler Road, announcing they will suspend the federal rights-of-way for the Ambler road project. At the same time, the Department of Interior asked the Court to remand the road right-of-way decision back to the federal agencies for them to address flaws in the analysis of impacts to subsistence and cultural resources. However, it wants to leave the right-of-way permits for the project in place while addressing the legal errors, and ignored several other significant legal deficiencies. While we are glad to see the Biden Administration acknowledge some of the legal problems with the Ambler Road, we are disappointed that the illegal right-of-way permits remain in place. Click here to read our full press statement. Our fight to stop the Ambler Road is far from over.
Want to learn more about what’s at risk if the Ambler Road is built? This 28-minute film, Paving Tundra, offers a glimpse of the people, places, and wildlife at stake.