U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning DOI-BLM-AK-F030-2016-0008-EIS (Road to Ambler)  
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Last Updated:
05/02/2018 13:45:13 MDT
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Project Overview

The project is being proposed by the Alaska Industrial and Development Export Authority (AIDEA). The project would construct a new 211-mile roadway along the southern flanks of the Brooks Range, extending west from the Dalton Highway to the south bank of the Ambler River. The road is designed as an industrial access road to provide surface transportation to the Ambler Mining District. The proposed road would not be designed or open for public access and would be open only to industrial traffic to support expanded exploration, mine development, and mine operations at mineral prospects throughout the District. The proposed project is named the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project.
 
The AIDEA has submitted a consolidated application with the BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for rights­ of­ way, permits, and related authorizations for the proposed project. The proposal would facilitate resource development and economic opportunities for the State of Alaska. Because approximately 26 miles of the proposed road would pass through a conservation system unit, the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, the entire application process is subject to the provisions of Title XI of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

The BLM is developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) identifying and analyzing concerns and issues associated with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s proposal to build a road originating at the Dalton Highway and ending at the Ambler Mining District. The proposed road would cross state lands (61%), Native corporation lands (15%), and federal lands (24%) managed by the BLM and the National Park Service.
 
The start of the road would be on BLM-­managed public lands within the Dalton Highway Utility Corridor. The road would then extend across State-­owned lands, Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, lands privately owned by Alaska Native corporations, and isolated BLM-­managed parcels. The proposed road would cross roughly 24 miles of BLM­-managed public lands in total. BLM Alaska will lead the analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) working cooperatively with other state and Federal agencies. 


Project History

1950s – Mineral exploration efforts since the 1950s have identified significant resources of copper and base metals in the southern flanks of the Brooks Range.
1980 – Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which acknowledged the mineral potential of the Ambler Mining District and the need for transportation access. Section 201(4)(-b) provides a specific guarantee of surface transportation access to the Ambler Mining District through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. 
2009–2010 – Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) began evaluating multiple road and rail routes that could provide surface transportation access to Ambler Mining District.
2013 – Project ownership was transferred from DOT&PF to Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA).
2015 – In November 2015, AIDEA submitted a consolidated application to the BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The application requested the issuance of right-of-way grants, permits for constructing bridges over navigable waters and for filling waters of the United States, and related authorizations associated with the proposed construction and operation of an approximately 211-mile long, all-season industrial access road.
2016 –AIDEA spent the early part of the year responding to requests for additional information after several agencies found its initial application incomplete. By June 30, 2016, AIDEA had completed its application.  
2017 – On February 28, 2017, the BLM filed a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project.
2017 – NPS and FHWA began developing their separate but parallel process for an Environmental and Economic Analysis (EEA) as directed by ANILCA Section 201(4)(d), for the road route through the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve.
2018 – The scoping comment period closed on January 31, 2018 for both the EIS and the EEA.

 

 
 
 
View the Scoping Summary Report
The Scoping Summary Report can be reviewed at the Documents page listed on the left side of this website.


View AIDEA’s Application
The Ambler Road SF-299 Application Package can be reviewed at:

1) The Documents page listed on the left side of this website

2) The BLM Alaska Public Room 
Federal Building, 1st Floor
222 W 7th Avenue 
Anchorage, AK 99513


3) Fairbanks District Office
Public Room
222 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99709­-3844

 

Keep Informed
 Sign up for our mailing list to be notified of EIS updates by sending a request to the project email address: blm_ak_akso_amblerroad_comments@blm.gov