What to Know About the Ambler Road Project

In the heart of northern Alaska, the threat of a devastating development project has hung over wild landscapes for decades. The proposed Ambler Road would be a new, 211-mile industrial corridor on the south side of the Brooks Range, extending west from the Dalton Highway to the south bank of the Ambler River. 

At risk is not just the construction of a mere road, but a massive industrial corridor that would threaten North America’s largest protected and roadless region, as well as the food security and clean water of Alaska Native Tribes. The project would destroy more than 1,400 acres of wetlands and cross nearly 3,000 streams. It would cut through Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, across sheefish and salmon spawning habitats, and bisect the migration of one of the greatest caribou herds left on Earth. The purpose of this road is to eventually develop multiple open pit copper mines, threatening fisheries of the Kobuk and Koyukuk rivers and other traditional subsistence resources that locals depend upon. 

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Administration Update 

In February 2022, the Biden Administration suspended the right of way permits for the proposed Ambler mining road, which had been advanced by Trump officials. In October 2023, BLM released the draft Supplemental EIS for the proposed road to address issues with the Trump-approved EIS. Over 12,000 AWL supporters signed our petition asking the administration to select the No Action alternative and stop the Ambler road from being built. The final decision from BLM is expected later this year. 


Recent Actions 

Alaska Wilderness League stands with our partners in the Brooks Range and will continue to assist with the national elevation of this issue. In late February, a group of Indigenous advocates from the Northwest and Interior Alaska traveled to Washington D.C. to speak out against the proposed Ambler Road. At a sold-out Portugal. The Man concert, they spoke to a 6,000 person crowd, as well as met with officials from the White House and Department of Interior about the potentially devastating effects of this road cutting through their communities. 

To coincide with Defend Brooks Range meetings and a day of action, and maintain the pressure on officials in D.C. at this time, AWL helped plaster Stop Ambler Road posters in locations around our nation’s capitol. 


How You Can Help 

If you’re concerned about this project and want to help our partners in Northwest Alaska, please tell the Bureau of Land Management to protect the rivers and streams, the Western Arctic caribou, and other wildlife in northwest Alaska by halting plans for the Ambler mining road – sign our petition here!