Federal Departments Make It Official On Rejecting Ambler Road, National Petroleum Reserve (Updating)

As expected, the U.S. Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management announced two major Alaska mining/drilling Western Arctic projects would be blocked by the federal government, the Ambler Mining District road project and the National Petroleum Reserve drilling area.


First up, here’s the Department of the Interior’s press release:

Biden-Harris Administration Takes Critical Action to Protect Alaska Native Subsistence, Lands and Wildlife

Publishes final rule to maximize protections for more than 13 million acres in the western Arctic, invites input on additional Special Area protections

Releases final environmental analysis, recommends “No Action” alternative for proposed Ambler Road along the iconic Brooks Range


WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today took two actions to help ensure millions of acres in Alaska are appropriately managed to protect the subsistence economy important to Alaska Native people and rural communities; conserve important fish and wildlife habitat; and balance extractive activities on public lands. These steps follow President Biden’s actions to protect millions of acres of lands and waters in the Arctic, including withdrawing approximately 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea, ensuring the entire United States Arctic Ocean is off limits to new oil and gas leasing.

Following significant engagement with the public, Alaska Native Tribes, and Alaska Native Corporations, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized the Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) rule that will ensure maximum protection for significant resource values on the more than 13 million acres of Special Areas in the western Arctic, while supporting subsistence uses and needs for Alaska Native communities. The BLM is also announcing that it will publish a Request for Information in the coming weeks to solicit public comment on whether to consider adding resource values to existing Special Areas, expanding Special Areas, or creating new Special Areas within the NPR-A. 

The BLM also released its final supplemental environmental analysis for the Ambler Road project, which was proposed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) and would span over 210 miles of significant wildlife habitat and pristine waters that are vital for subsistence along the iconic Brooks Range in north central Alaska. The BLM The “No Action” alternative, if finalized in a Record of Decision, would mean that AIDEA would not receive a right-of-way to build the road across BLM-managed public lands.

“Since Day One of the Biden-Harris administration, the Interior Department has maintained its commitment to restoring an appropriate balance between conservation and development. Today’s announcements underscore our commitment to ensure that places too special to develop remain intact for the communities and species that rely on them,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “There is no question, using the best available science and incorporating Indigenous Knowledge practiced over millennia, that these decisions will help biological, cultural, historic and subsistence resources, safeguarding the way of life for the Indigenous people who have called this special place home since time immemorial.” 

“Today’s historic actions to protect lands and waters in the western Arctic will ensure continued subsistence use by Alaska Native communities while conserving these special places for future generations,” said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy. “With these new announcements, the Biden-Harris administration has now protected more than 41 million acres of lands and waters across the country, leaving a huge mark on the history of American conservation.” 

Both the NPR-A rule and Ambler analysis come after several months of nation-to-nation consultations; robust public comment periods; and in-depth discussions with Alaska Native Tribes and communities, corporations and organizations; hunters and anglers; conservation organizations; oil, gas and mining producers and industry experts; academics and other stakeholders.

Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Rule 

Under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act (NPRPA) of 1976, as amended, Congress directed the BLM to balance oil and gas development with the management and protection of significant resource values in locations known as Special Areas and mitigate impacts of oil and gas activities on surface resources across the reserve. The final rule updates the existing regulatory framework, adopted more than 40 years ago, allowing the BLM to more effectively respond to changing conditions in the NPR-A, while striking a balance between oil and gas development and the management and protection of surface values, including wildlife habitat vital to subsistence. 

Extending from the northwest slope of the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coast, the NPR-A encompasses roughly 23 million acres of public land managed by the BLM. Tribal Nations have occupied lands now within the NPR-A since time immemorial, and more than 40 Indigenous communities continue to rely on the resources from the Reserve for subsistence, harvesting caribou, shore and waterbirds, and many other fish and wildlife species. Many communities subsist primarily on food that, in turn, relies on the Special Areas of the NPR-A. Natural conditions in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate change, which is affecting caribou movement and herd health, causing degradation of permafrost, and altering habitats for wildlife, migratory birds, and native plants throughout the NPR-A. 

The final rule codifies protections for 13.3 million acres encompassed by the existing Special Areas, limiting future oil and gas leasing and industrial development in the Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and Peard Bay Special Areas – places collectively known for their globally significant intact habitat for wildlife, including grizzly and polar bears, caribou and hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. The rule also codifies existing prohibitions on new leasing in 10.6 million acres, more than 40 percent of the NPR-A, consistent with the current NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP). 

Similarly, the rule clarifies management requirements in Special Areas, while providing clear guidelines for development that protect subsistence resources throughout the NPR-A – also consistent with key provisions of the current IAP – and ensuring protection of valid existing rights. This allows the BLM to more effectively fulfill its obligations to Tribal Nations and meet the requirements of the NPRPA and other federal laws. 

The BLM first proposed the rule in September 2023. More than 100,000 comments were received during the public comment period, including from Alaska Native Tribes, corporations, communities and organizations; hunters and anglers; conservation organizations; oil and gas producers; industry experts; academics; and other stakeholders. The BLM held multiple in-person meetings and informational sessions, including in Nuiqsut, Utqiagvik, Wainwright, and Anchorage. More information about the rule is available here.

Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement?for Proposed Ambler Road 

The Ambler Road as proposed by AIDEA would traverse more than two hundred miles along the Brooks Range, crossing lands managed by the BLM, National Park Service, the state of Alaska, and several Alaska Native Corporations. There are no current mines in the area and no mine plan proposals pending before the federal government. The funding model to build, maintain and mitigate the impacts of the road is speculative: AIDEA would finance the road through funds from investors by selling bonds, and the bonds would be paid off over time by charging annual fees to mining companies who would eventually use the Ambler Road.

The BLM prepared the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement?(EIS) to address deficiencies related to subsistence impacts and to ensure compliance with applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), after a federal district court remanded a 2020 analysis to the BLM. The analysis released today evaluates the same range of alternatives and routes as the 2020 EIS, but more thoroughly analyzes the proposed project’s substantial impacts to biological, cultural, historic and subsistence resources, including caribou and fish. 

The BLM also conducted a detailed analysis of the project’s potential subsistence impacts under Section 810 of ANILCA. The analysis found that more than 60 Alaska Native communities would experience restrictions on their subsistence and, of those, more than 30 would experience significantrestriction of subsistence uses should the road be constructed.

The analysis released today details how the project would require over 3,000 stream crossings and could impact at risk wildlife populations, including sheefish, the already-declining Western Arctic caribou herd, and other subsistence resources. In addition, the analysis found that irreparable impacts to permafrost would make it unlikely the road could be reclaimed, and that it is reasonably foreseeable that the industrial road would be used by the public, increasing impacts. 

The BLM began the supplemental process in May 2022 and since then has held 21 Tribal and 16 Alaska Native Corporation consultations. A draft EIS was released in October 2023 on which the BLM requested comments and held 12 public meetings and ANILCA 810 subsistence hearings in communities within the vicinity of the project. During the comment period, nearly 90,000 people offered written comments.  

The BLM will issue a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 days from the publication of the Final Supplemental EIS in the Federal Register. 

And here’s some reaction, starting with Earthjustice:

Earthjustice Applauds New Rules Limiting Future Oil Drilling in Western Arctic

Biden administration unveils new regulations that will help preserve 13 million acres in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The Biden administration today unveiled new regulations strengthening land conservation for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (Reserve). The new rule establishes stronger protections against oil-and-gas development for designated Special Areas in the ecologically significant public lands area, located in the Western Arctic. Earthjustice applauded the new rule and issued the following statement:  

“We applaud the Biden Administration for this important step to increase protections for 13 million acres of the Western Arctic to safeguard the irreplaceable ecosystems and wildlife found there. We look forward to partnering with the administration to adopt new measures applicable throughout the Western Arctic to further protect it and our climate from expanded drilling,” said Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice.

“It’s no secret that the Reserve – a vast region of tundra and wetlands teeming with wildlife and globally recognized for its ecological value – has frequently landed in the crosshairs of the insatiable fossil fuel industry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jeremy Lieb. “Today the administration has taken an important step to defend a cherished landscape from further fossil fuel development that would threaten these irreplaceable lands and waters and our climate. We applaud this move and call for even bolder action to keep the fossil fuel industry out of the Arctic, for the sake of the climate and future generations.”


With today’s announcement, the Biden administration unveiled a final version of new protective measures for the Reserve and its adjacent waters, safeguarding habitat for migratory birds, polar bears, caribou, and other iconic Arctic species. The new regulations were proposed in September 2023. They ensure maximum protection for more than 13 million acres of Special Areas in the Reserve, while supporting subsistence activities for Alaska Native communities. (Special Areas are ecologically sensitive landscapes within the Reserve, designated for protection pursuant to a 1976 law known as the Naval Petroleum Reserves Protection Act (NPRPA)).

The new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulations establish an outright prohibition on any new oil-and-gas leasing for 10.6 million acres of the Reserve and encourage the Bureau of Land Management to explore co-stewardship opportunities with surrounding Alaska Native Tribal communities for management of the Special Areas.?The regulations also expand and create new protections for Special Areas, establish a new presumption against new fossil fuel activity in Special Areas that are still available for leasing, and clarify BLM’s authority to protect the environment across the entire Reserve. They also require BLM to evaluate Special Areas at least every ten years to determine whether new special areas should be created, existing ones expanded, or new resource protections applied.

Looking ahead, more is needed to ensure that the oil industry does not cause further damage to the Reserve, a region that has abundant oil reserves and is already warming four times as fast as the rest of the planet due to climate change.??If the U.S. is to meet its 2030 pledge under the Paris Agreement on climate change, economy-wide emissions must drop nearly 6.9% annually, according toresearch by the Rhodium Group. Limiting new fossil fuel development is an effective way to tackle the climate crisis and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.?

Earthjustice is currently awaiting a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning its lawsuit on behalf of clients challenging ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project, an oil-drilling operation slated for a parcel within the Reserve. Over its lifetime, Willow stands to accelerate the climate crisis by emitting about 260 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses over the next 30 years.

Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range via the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Project :

BLM Poised to Deny Permit for Industrial Corridor That Threatens World-Class Hunting and Fishing in Alaska’s Brooks Range 

Hunters and anglers cheer important milestone to maintain America’s most wild and remote hunting and fishing grounds

(Washington D.C.)—Today, the Bureau of Land Management released the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement concerning the proposed Ambler Industrial Road in Alaska’s Brooks Range. The development proposal has gained national attention for its potential to permanently alter the remote character of Alaska’s largest remaining swath of wild country. 

After months of analyzing the potential impacts of the major industrial corridor on fish, wildlife, rural subsistence, and outdoor recreation in the region, the BLM selected the “No Action” alternative in the final SEIS, which indicates the agency’s intent to deny the permit for the Ambler Industrial Road later this year. 

“Today’s announcement is a big step toward an enormous conservation win for all Americans who value the unbroken landscapes, exceptional habitat, and opportunities for solitude in this awe-inspiring region,” said Lewis Pagel, owner of Arctic Fishing Adventures in Kotzebue, Alaska. 

“By selecting the ‘No Action’ alternative in this final environmental review, the BLM is acknowledging that the risks of the proposed Ambler Road far outweigh the rewards,”said Jen Leahy, Alaska senior program manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. 

“This milestone is the result of broad opposition to this project, led by local residents and Alaska Native Tribes, and supported by thousands of conservation-minded hunters and anglers from across the country,” continued Leahy, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. “Those sportsmen and sportswomen have helped turn the tide of public opinion against the Ambler Road, and we appreciate the BLM recognizing this in their preferred alternative.” 

Known as the Ambler Road, the proposed private industrial corridor would partially bisect the home range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of Alaska’s largest remaining herds. The 211-mile industrial corridor would cross 11 major rivers and require nearly 3,000 culverts, degrading habitat and potentially impeding fish passage for species such as Arctic grayling and sheefish. 

“Brooks Range rivers are beautiful, wild, and there are few other places like them in the world,” said fly fishing guide Greg Halbach of Remote Waters in Anchorage, Alaska. Halbach’s small operation offers guided wilderness floats on the Kobuk River, one of the only places in North America to target sheefish—also known as “tarpon of the north.” 

“Roads are the very opposite of remote and wild,” Halbach said. “A single road can fragment habitat, disrupt wildlife migrations, and introduce chemical pollutants on a scale much wider than the narrow strip of gravel that we see. A float down the Kobuk River that included passing under bridges and listening to the hammering of engine brakes from tractor-trailers would be a radically different recreational experience.” 

The proposed Ambler Road has prompted strong opposition from the hunting and fishing community. In 2023, more than 40 Alaska-based businesses, leading outdoor brands, and conservation organizations launched Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range. The collective—which includes guides, outfitters, and transporters who operate in the Brooks Range—is urging the Bureau of Land Management to deny the permit for the private industrial corridor. To date, the growing coalition has delivered nearly 10,000 individual letters to the agency opposing the Ambler Road. 

“While the BLM’s ‘No Action’ finding is a cause for celebration, our most important work is still ahead,” said Leahy. “Until the agency issues a final decision, hunters and anglers will remain engaged to help ensure a positive outcome and defend the Brooks Range from future threats.” 

Individuals can sign a petition opposing the Ambler Industrial Road HERE. 

Learn more about Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range and sign up for updates on the status of the Ambler Industrial Road HERE. 

About Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range: Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range, a project of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is a collective of seasoned hunters, anglers, conservationists, and leading outdoor brands. We are committed to defending the wild and remote character of Alaska’s Brooks Range—a world-class hunting and fishing destination—from the proposed Ambler Industrial Road.

Natural Resources Defense Council:

White House Announces New Protections For Alaska’s Arctic Wildlands  

WASHINGTON (April 19, 2024) — The Administration announced a new rule that will significantly increase conservation protections across 13 million acres of “Special Areas” in the Arctic Reserve, a critical move to safeguard one of the United States’ most pristine and biologically diverse landscapes. This unprecedented action aims to prioritize ecological preservation and the well-being of local communities and wildlife over the interests of Big Oil companies, which have aggressively sought to exploit the region for oil and gas extraction. 

?Following is a statement from Bobby McEnaney, Director of Lands Conservation at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):? 

“This new rule champions our commitment to preserving nature and communities within the nation’s largest single block of federal lands. The rule safeguards our planet for future generations, standing firm against exploitation. The fossil fuel industry and its allies are relentlessly attempting to exploit this vital area, risking irreparable harm and devastation in a region that is experiencing climate change four times faster than the rest of the planet. We cannot allow their dirty energy agenda to prevail.” 


The Biden administration has substantially increased environmental safeguards for 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. This move, aiming to prioritize ecological integrity over oil profits, is pivotal for climate goals, safeguarding natural carbon storage areas, and preserving the habitat of numerous endangered species. This rule will also help to establish additional administrative pathways for increasing conservation safeguards beyond the 13 million acres that were bestowed protections today. Despite this achievement, ongoing industry pressures underscore the need for continued environmental advocacy and protective measures.?

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at?http://www.nrdc.org?and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Update: Here’s a collection of folks from a Friday morning press conference:

ICYMI: Tribal Leaders, Conservation Groups Respond to Biden Administration’s Decision to Stop the Ambler Mining Road 


(Alaska) — Today, the Biden administration indicated its preferred course of action is the “No Action” alternative in their Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) – protecting the Gates of the Arctic National Park landscape and the communities, wildlife, and ecosystems in the Brooks Range of Northwest Alaska. 

The Ambler industrial mining road, a proposed 211-mile industrial road northwest of Fairbanks, would have extended through the Brooks Range and the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve to an undeveloped and roadless region upstream from numerous Alaska Native villages. This road, intended to provide private industrial access to at least four mineral deposits, posed a significant threat to Athabaskan, Inupiat, and Yupik cultural and subsistence resources and the diverse ecosystems that sustain salmon fisheries and Arctic caribou herds across a 100 million-acre landscape. 

Advocates have long argued that the ecological, social, and economic impacts far outweigh any speculative benefits of the mining project and are glad to see the Biden Administration follow the science and indicate that their preferred course of action is the “No Action” alternative. 

Below are statements from Tribal leaders and conservation groups in response to the Biden Administration’s decision to stop the Ambler Access Road: 

Chief Chair Brian Ridley – Tanana Chiefs Conference

“This is a historic win for the Alaska Native community. It reaffirms that our voices matter, that our knowledge is invaluable, and that our lands and animals deserve protection.

The Biden Administration’s choice to reject the Ambler Road Project is a monumental step forward in the fight for Indigenous rights and environmental justice.

The previous Administration did not consult with Tribal leaders ­­­years ago when the Ambler Road proposal was brought forth, and TCC is very appreciative of the efforts of Tracy Stone-Manning, Director of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and her team for meaningful consultation with TCC and its member Tribes.

This is proof that our collective voices are powerful and that we must continue to speak up to protect our ways of life.

I urge everyone to continue to provide testimony, show up to meetings, and raise your voices in the protection and preservation of our land and animals for all future generations.”

First Chief Frank Thompson – Evansville Village 

“The Evansville Tribal Council has been fighting the proposed Ambler Road for at least eight years. We were told that a 211-mile road was going to be built and that we would love it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Ambler road was permitted expediently during the Trump administration and was poorly justified with a deeply flawed Environmental Impact Statement.

Today is a happy day. Today is a day that our future looks bright without the threat of 168 trucks driving by per day, without the increased pressures on our subsistence resources and imminent adverse risks to our traditional way of life and sacred Cultural Resources. 

President Biden, the secretary of interior and BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning, Director of Bureau of Land mManagement have done their job well to reverse this insane decision and stop the proposed Ambler Road. Thank you to all those that helped in this fight for our survival.”

Theresa Clark, Executive Director of Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council 

“The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council would like to thank President Biden, the hard working Whitehouse staff and the Department of Interior for taking a hard look at the proposed Ambler Road and making the decision to prevent the road”.

Kathleen Peters-Zuray, Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council,  Executive Committee Member

“I would like to thank President Biden, Secretary Haaland and Director Stone-Manning for choosing the no Action alternative and deciding to stop the proposed Ambler Road. This road and all the mining that it would have invited would have destroyed our subsistence resources and water sources in our pristine homeland.  The road would have destroyed our way of life.”

Julie Roberts – First Chief – Tanana

“I’ve had the privilege of being raised in a very amazing place, I’m Neltsene, I come from the bear clan. My sitsoo grandma was from the Koyukuk river. I was raised along the Yukon river , a river that provides so much to our way of life. Alaska is one of the most pristine places in this world and I feel obligated to protect this for our future generations.”

“I would like to thank President Biden and his staff for all the meetings and countless hours reviewing all necessary information needed to make this important decision that affects future generations to come. Our tribal nations rejoice in this positive news. The Tanana tribal council is honored to be a part of protecting our environment.”

Chief Harding Sam – Alatna

“Chief Harding Sam and the entire Alatna Village Council are so relieved that the Ambler Road will not be built. The Ambler Road would have caused extensive damage to our subsistence resources and ancient cultural sites. We know that if the Ambler Road was built our tribe would have been severely and permanently adversely impacted. Thank you to BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning and to President Biden. Our present and future generations are grateful.”

Brooks Range Council

“Frankly, I am elated that the robust environmental safeguards Alaska is known for worked to stop this disaster before it could start,” said John Gaedeke, Chairman of Brooks Range Council. “The Biden Administration assembled a team of agencies that saw what all of us in the region identified as a cultural, environmental and financial Chernobyl of a proposal.”

Northern Alaska Environmental Center

“The Bureau of Land Management has made the only reasonable decision by endorsing the No Action Alternative. Preventing development of the proposed Ambler Road – a necessity for Arctic climate resilience – will protect the intact lands, waters, fish, and wildlife that communities throughout the Brooks Range depend on,” says Katie McClellan, Mining Impacts and Energy program manager at Northern Alaska Environmental Center. “The Biden administration must continue listening to the local Indigenous knowledge, scientific data, and long-standing widespread public opposition as they prioritize the physical health and cultural well-being of communities in northwest Alaska. We look forward to the Record of Decision affirming the No Action Alternative and the revocation of all permits from the BLM and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to end this speculative and harmful project for good.”

National Parks Conservation Association

“Everyone who has ever visited or dreamed of visiting Alaska’s national parks should be celebrating today,” said Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association.?“When the threat loomed of a 211-mile road cutting through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and dozens of native communities, people from across Alaska and across the nation spoke up. And they were heard. By rejecting this mining road, President Biden and Secretary Haaland have shown that they know how important it is to safeguard America’s treasured lands and respect the communities that have relied on and protected them for generations. Defeating the Ambler mining road took a courageous coalition and years of hard work from people who care deeply about the lands and communities of the Brooks Range. This victory shows that no matter how challenging the fight, parks have the power to unite us all. We are indebted to the Tribal leaders, community advocates, business owners and thousands of park supporters who never wavered in their determination to protect the lands, waters, wildlife and people of the Brooks Range.” 

“Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and the surrounding parklands of the Brooks Range are singularly important to all Americans and indeed to people all across the world,” said Alex Johnson, Interior Alaska Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “This landscape still stands as one of the last bastions for ecologically and culturally intact large landscapes left on planet Earth. But most important of all, protecting these lands and waters is a matter of life and death for the people of Northwest Alaska, who despite the odds have maintained their cultures, knowledge, and way of life to present day. The fight against this road began in these Alaska Native communities long before the alarm was sounded in the Lower 48, and it’s because of their leadership that we can celebrate this victory. President Biden, Secretary Haaland, and Director Stone-Manning are acknowledging that the future of these people, these lands, and these waters are far more precious than the speculative profits of an international mining company.” 

Trustees for Alaska 

“Today’s announcement recognizes that this destructive project never should have been approved in the first place,” said Suzanne Bostrom, senior staff attorney with Trustees for Alaska. “The harm this industrial road would cause to local communities, Arctic health, and future generations eclipses the desires of Outside mining executives to stuff their bank accounts. We look forward to a final decision that uplifts health and abundance, not exploitation, and that puts the poorly planned and deeply flawed Ambler proposal to rest.”


“The Ambler Road will jeopardize salmon, sheefish and caribou populations of local and national significance,” said Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Program Director at Earthworks. “As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded in its review, the only effective mitigation is to avoid construction altogether. We applaud the Biden Administration for protecting these vital resources, and the many rural communities that rely on them.”

Alaska Wilderness League 

“We applaud the Biden administration for taking advantage of an Alaska-sized opportunity to safeguard this incredible region,” said Maddie Halloran, State Director at Alaska Wilderness League. “This was always a road to speculation, intended to enrich outside mining companies at the expense of the Brooks Range – some of the largest remaining intact habitat left in the country. We’re grateful to see this critical landscape protected for generations to come.”

Center for Biological Diversity

“I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief that plans for Ambler Road were rejected. It’s a major win that will ensure millions of acres of intact Arctic wildlands stay protected,” said Cooper Freeman, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The federal government acknowledged that this private mining road would have been devastating for Alaska’s struggling caribou, and revoking Ambler’s permits gives these majestic herds a fighting chance. So many Alaskans fought hard and spoke out against Ambler Road to ensure the Brooks Range isn’t turned into an industrial sacrifice zone, 
and the government rightly denied this destructive project.”


“Today’s announcement is consequential and demonstrates that the Biden administration follows Western science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to make informed decisions about truly irreplaceable places. The wild and fully intact ecosystem of the proposed Ambler Road corridor is of both local and hemispheric importance. The lands and waters of this region support subsistence resources like the Western Arctic Caribou Herd and nesting habitat for birds that migrate to distant places like Peru and Colombia,” says David Krause, Interim Executive Director of Audubon Alaska. “The cumulative effects of roads and mining are enormous, and the proposed Ambler Road would fundamentally compromise the ecological and cultural values of the region.” 

Winter Wildlands Alliance

“With this decision, the BLM is choosing to protect one of America’s last great wild areas, safeguarding the opportunity for future generations to find adventure and experience the natural world on its own terms,” says Hilary Eisen, policy director at Winter Wildlands Alliance. “We commend the Biden Administration for saying no to the Ambler Road.”

Here’s Cooper Freeman, Alaska director for Center for Biological Diversity 

“I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief that plans for Ambler Road were rejected. It’s a major win that will ensure millions of acres of intact Arctic wildlands stay protected,” said Cooper Freeman, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The federal government acknowledged that this private mining road would have been devastating for Alaska’s struggling caribou, and revoking Ambler’s permits gives these majestic herds a fighting chance. So many Alaskans fought hard and spoke out against Ambler Road to ensure the Brooks Range isn’t turned into an industrial sacrifice zone, and the government rightly denied this destructive project.”  

Freeman also commented on the Interior Department’s embargoed release of the Western Arctic Reserve/National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska rule:

“The federal government just wasted one of our best opportunities to protect the entire Western Arctic from more devastating oil drilling,” said Cooper Freeman, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s impossible to safeguard the Western Arctic and its spectacular wildlife if oil drilling continues on more than half the reserve. We’re in a climate emergency that’s rapidly destroying the Arctic, and the only reasonable course of action is to phase out fossil fuel extraction completely.”