...catch up on program updates, and make a plan to join us at upcoming meetings!
Photo from Karlin Itchoak during an Imago Initiative
place-based dialogue in the Arctic Refuge.
On Monday, October 2, join us in Fairbanks to speak up for the Arctic Refuge coastal plain. Indigenous organizers have been leading the way on protecting these sacred lands and waters, and all of us have a duty to show up and support maximum protections for the Refuge.
While the Biden administration recently canceled AIDEA’s leases on the coastal plain, a second lease sale is mandated by a Trump-era law, and these lands are still under threat.
Read more and see our suggested talking points on our website, and mark your calendar to join us at 5 PM on Monday at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Live outside Fairbanks? Find your opportunities to participate here.
Note: While a federal government shut down is possible, we do not expect this to impact comment periods. We will keep you updated if anything changes, but at this point we ask you to plan on attending meetings as scheduled.
Manh Choh Updates & Meetings
Photo provided by Lynn Cornberg
Earlier this month, the Tetlin Native Corporation (TNCorp) released a press statement which brought forth questions about Kinross Gold Corporation's acquisition of lands for the Manh Choh project. TNCorp asserted that Kinross trespassed on lands owned by the village council and violated tribal laws related to land leases, among other issues.
TNCorp stated that they will seek legal action to address their claims of Kinross and their mine partner's wrongdoing, asserting that the project "constitutes unjust enrichment from trespass on ANCSA village corporation's land."
We encourage Northern Center members to continue to ask for public accountability from Kinross, its partners, and the state with regard to this proposal.
To learn more about the Manh Choh ore haul proposal, you can attend one of the upcoming public Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings. TAC will host three Thursday morning meetings on October 5, 12, and 19, from 9 am to 1pm at the Pipeline Training Center in Fairbanks. These meetings are open to the public, and we encourage folks to attend to see more of the presentation prepared by Kinney Engineering on the proposed Manh Choh ore haul, and to provide public comment about the transportation plan.
Questions and comments about this proposal can be submitted at any time to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Meeting agendas and links for virtual attendance will be updated here.
Proposed road to Ambler: SEIS coming soon
In August, Nick Carpenter of Alaskan band Medium Build was invited to the village of Evansville alongside Defend Brooks Range coalition members, where he connected with community members and learned more about the proposed Ambler Road. First Chief Frank Thompson shared with Carpenter that Alaska “is trying to sell off one of our last pieces of Wilderness to Outsiders who don’t know us or care about our world. It feels devastating and careless.”
Of his experience, Carpenter said “There’s no denying the power of the uninterrupted landscape, rivers, and cultural history. It makes you realize how much we’ve destroyed elsewhere, and how important it is to not make the same mistake here.”
We agree with Chief Thompson and Carpenter, and hope that you’ll join us in sharing comments during the upcoming Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement comment period. Stay tuned for more information and comment guidance when the SEIS for the proposed road to Ambler is released in the coming month!
Mining project proposal threatens Imuruk Basin
Outside of Nome, Canadian exploration company, Graphite One, is trying to develop the largest known graphite deposit in the US, a project that is touted by proponents as critical to providing graphite for EV batteries and other green technologies. The project has gained support from the Alaska delegation, and from the US Department of Defense, which just recently issued a $37.5 million grant to the company to support a feasibility study for the project.
This state and national support of the project ignores a huge and important component of the project: it sits directly above the Imuruk Basin, one of the region’s most critical and abundant subsistence resources, relied upon by nearby communities. Tribal leaders in Brevig Mission and Teller oppose the project due to the impacts it would have on fish, water, and other resources in the area. And with no royalties from the project going towards the local Indigenous communities, many express grief over the continued colonization of their lands under the guise of a green energy transition.
Northern Center will continue to monitor this project's development and keep members informed of opportunities to get involved in the future.
Save the Date & Get Involved: Arctic Fest 2024
The Northern Alaska Environmental Center is a nonprofit and depends on the contributions of its members and supporters. You can donate any time by going to
northern.org/donate. Thank you for continuing to make our advocacy possible!
Thursday September 28: FCAC Fall Harvest Potluck
Tonight, join Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition from 6-8 PM for a cozy evening of sharing food, voting themed trivia, and connecting with fellow FCAC members. Gather at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks building to share in a fall harvest local food potluck, followed by a rousing round of voting themed trivia, and a chance to win FCAC swag. If you are not an FCAC member yet, you can sign up online here.
Save the Date: Night for the North November 17
Each year, we host an end-of-year auction and gathering in November. It's a great opportunity to get together with new and old friends, chat with Northern Center staff, and raise some funds to support our ongoing efforts. Mark your calendars now for our biggest event of the year!
The Northern Alaska Environmental Center promotes conservation of the environment and sustainable resource stewardship in Interior and Arctic Alaska through education and advocacy.
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