Several weeks ago, the Trump administration unilaterally decided to approve a road through Alaskan wilderness in the 300,000-acre Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. This week, the comment period is closing on yet another possible road in Alaska, this one through Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. Called the Ambler Road, it would be 211 miles long and create access to mine one of the largest lodes of copper in the world in an open pit mine. It would also connect Native Alaskan villages that don’t want a road and cut a scar through the second-largest (and currently roadless) national park.
Adventure Journal supported an expedition to study the road and its impact, which we reported in AJ 06 (and which you can purchase here). The Ambler Road would also cross 161 rivers and streams, including the federally designated Kobuk and Alatna Wild and Scenic Rivers, and lead to the creation of quarries placed every 10 miles to provide gravel to build the road—and which may contain asbestos.
In addition to crossing the national park, the proposed road also would cross Bureau of Land Management terrain, and the BLM accepting comments on the proposal until January 31, 2018. Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:
• Email: [email protected]
• Fax: (907) 271-5479
The video below features Seth Kanter, author of Shopping for Porcupine and a contributor to AJ, giving a short look at his take as a native Alaskan. Photos are from the Brooks Range, site of the proposed road, by James Q Martin, from the Paving Tundra expedition.