This week, the Biden administration acknowledged some of the deficiencies in the previous administration’s approval of the right of way permit for the road to Ambler, suspending the project for now while it conducts a review. However, many of the permits for the road remain in place, and the State of Alaska, through the corrupt and largely unregulated Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, continues to funnel state funds towards the project. Scroll down for more on how you can take action on state permit applications.
“We are encouraged to see the Biden administration acknowledge the permitting process left serious gaps in analysis and failed to adequately consult with and gain consent from Brooks Range communities, but we are also deeply disappointed that they didn’t go far enough by taking back these illegal permits,” Lisa Baraff, program director at the Northern Center, said in the Anchorage Daily News. “This leaves some real questions about the administration’s commitment to the values they campaigned on.”
Every stage of this proposed road has been defined by inadequate science, disregard for local tribal voices, and an exploitive corporate agenda carried out by one of the least trusted and least transparent entities in Alaska’s state government.
Our lawsuit, as well as a separate case brought by a coalition of tribes and the Tanana Chiefs Conference, points out the flawed review process, incomplete science, and failure to include tribal input on how local people would be affected by the road.
“The 200+ mile Ambler road represents a fundamental threat to our people, our subsistence way of life and our cultural resources,” said Brian Ridley, TCC President, in response to the administration’s review. “We appreciate that the federal government recognized the flaws in the previous administration’s decisions to permit the road. We believe any objective review of the full impacts of this project, including the mining that it would facilitate, would demonstrate that constructing this road through the heart of our traditional lands would be a terrible idea. We urge the State of Alaska to drop the road proposal altogether.” Read TCC’s full statement here.
Tell the State of Alaska: Stop Wasting our Money on Bad Ideas
Two permits currently open for comments include AIDEA’s request for a 50 year exclusive easement on state lands, and another for a site specific land use plan. The comment period has been extended to April 1, meaning there’s still time to let the state know that no further permits should be issued.
Alaskans, write a quick note here, telling the state that this road is not in the public interest. No easement should be granted, and outside industrial interests should not dictate our land classification processes.