U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced legislation to allow road access to two proposed mines on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.
Murkowski says the Niblack and Bokan Mountain mines could provide stable, well-paying jobs for hundreds of people. But with no roads to either site, workers would have to be boated or flown to and from the mines.
Murkowski’s bill would authorize a road across 18 miles of the Tongass National Forest currently designated as a “roadless area.” The U.S. Forest Service would choose one of two identified routes to connect the Prince of Wales Island road system to the claims, picking the one the minimizes costs and disturbances and complies with environmental laws and regulations.