BLM seeks public input on supplemental review of Ambler Road proposal
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management will initiate a 45-day public scoping period to guide its supplemental evaluation of the proposed Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road in the southern Brooks Range foothills, pursuant to an order by the U.S. District Court for Alaska. The BLM is seeking public input before preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement to evaluate the proposal.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has proposed an industrial access road connecting the Dalton Highway to the Ambler Mining District. The proposed project would cross over 200 miles of lands managed by the BLM, National Park Service, the State of Alaska and several Alaska Native Corporations, as well as local municipalities and privately owned lands. The project was originally approved in 2020; in May 2022 the U.S. District Court for Alaska remanded the project approval to the BLM to conduct additional analysis.
The BLM’s supplemental EIS will address identified deficiencies in its analysis of subsistence impacts and consultation with Tribes pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and to ensure compliance with applicable law including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, NHPA, and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
“Diverse, on-the-ground perspectives are vital in promoting co-stewardship and ensuring resilient landscapes,” said BLM Fairbanks District Manager Geoff Beyersdorf. “We are eager to hear from the public, Tribes and corporations to aid in helping us make an informed, durable decision.”
The BLM is seeking public input on the scope of the analysis, potential alternatives, and identification of relevant information and studies to help determine which additional impacts and resources should be more thoroughly assessed. The supplemental environmental impact statement will evaluate a range of alternatives and take a close look at any potential impacts to biological, cultural, historic and subsistence resources such as caribou and fish, as well as measures to protect those resources. Additional opportunities for public participation, including at least a 45-day public comment period, will be provided upon publication of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement. The BLM will continue to consult with Alaska Native Tribes and Corporations throughout the process.
To be considered, all comments must be received prior to Nov. 4, 2022. Comments must be submitted through either email to BLM_AK_AKSO_AmblerRoad_Comments@blm.gov; the BLM ePlanning website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/57323/510; via fax by dialing (907) 271-5479; or mailed to BLM Alaska State Office, ATTN: Ambler Road Scoping Comments, 222 W. 7th Ave. Stop #13, Anchorage, AK 99513. If public meetings, subsistence-related hearings, and any other public participation activities are held, they will be announced on the ePlanning website, as well as other outreach means.
Before including personal identifying information (address, email, phone number), commenters should be aware that their entire comment – including their personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to have this information withheld from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.
For more information on this project, please contact BLM Project Manager Wendy Huber at (907) 271-3137 or email@example.com.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.