Bureau of Land Management approves route for Ambler Road

Map showing the BLM-approved route for the Ambler Road
A map of the proposed Ambler Road project (Bureau of Land Management)

The Bureau of Land Management has approved the proposed route for the controversial Ambler Road project.

In its record of decision released Thursday, the BLM approved a route for the private access road that would span 211 miles from the Dalton Highway and cross Gates of the Arctic National Park to get to the Ambler mining district in Northwest Alaska.

The road has been touted by Ambler Metals LLC, a subsidiary of British Columbia-based company Trilogy Metals. The company hopes to use the road to access deposits of copper and other metals in the mining district, then to truck ore out.

Environmentalists have strongly opposed the the road, especially the decision to route it through a national park. Subsistence hunters in the area are concerned about possible effects on the migration of caribou, a staple in the local subsistence diet.

The BLM completed its environmental assessment of the road in March, acknowledging potential impacts to air and water quality, wildlife migration and erosion.

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