Earthworks To Potus: : Eight Reasons Why Ambler Road Project Is A Bad Idea For

Photo by Bjorn Dihle

The Ambler Road project, which would connect a Alaskan Interior mining operation and the Dalton Highway Sportsmen and -women have argued against the gravel road project’s impact on Brooks Range hunting and fishing habitat, including Western Arctic Herd caribou. Environmental organization Earthworks blogged about the project and spoke directly to President Joe Biden’s administration. Here’s a sample:

6. It’s bad for fish and those that depend on them. The rivers and streams along the Brooks Range are an important source of salmon, which contribute to Alaska’s economy and are vital to local communities. These rivers also provide essential habitat and spawning grounds for sheefish, a giant member of the whitefish family and an essential food source for local communities. BLM determined that cumulatively, the project “has the potential to cause substantial, long-term impacts to fish and aquatic life that could lead to substantial impacts on subsistence use practices in the region, even with mitigation measures in place.”         

7. It will disrupt one of the greatest caribou herds left on Earth. The road would fragment habitat and disrupt the migration patterns for 164,000 caribou in the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of our nation’s largest and most iconic caribou herds.  This herd, which has already declined substantially in recent years, relies on vast tracts of undisturbed lands for its 2,000-mile annual migration, one of the longest land migrations on EarthBLM found that the impacts from a potential road “could exacerbate or prolong population declines and hinder the herd’s ability to naturally recover from low population levels.”                        

8. It will harm Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Lying north of the Arctic Circle,Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is so wild it contains no roads or trails.  It is one of the largest protected parkland areas in the world. This vast and wild landscape contains major portions of the range and habitat for the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, and refuge for moose, Dall Sheep, wolverines, and myriad other species.  The Ambler Road will cut directly through the National Preserve for 26-miles, damaging this treasured landscape and those that depend on it.

Alaskan politicians, including Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, plus the late U.S. Rep. Don Young, have been in favor the road being constructed.