Ambler Newsletter Number Two January 2018

Superintendent’s Message

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the second installment in this newsletter series dedicated to keeping our tribal partners and members of the public informed about the EEA for the 20 mile stretch of the proposed Ambler Access Road that crosses NPS lands.
In recent weeks, NPS staff travelled to many neighboring towns and villages for BLM scoping meetings on the Ambler Road EIS. We’ve enjoyed meeting with residents in Alatna, Allakaket, Ambler, Anaktuvuk Pass, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kobuk, Kotzebue, Shungnak and Wiseman. The meetings were engaging and informative.
I want to personally thank each and every one of the villages and participating tribes and residents for their warm hospitality and for taking the time to provide input on this important issue.
Tribal consultation is an ongoing process that will continue as the EEA develops. In addition, the NPS public comment period remains open through January 31, 2018. Please see below for details. We are interested in hearing from you.
Thank you.
Greg Dudgeon, Superintendent
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
 

Project Overview

On November 24, 2015, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) submitted an application for the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project. The proposal is for the construction of a 211-mile long, all-season, controlled-access industrial road connecting the Ambler Mining District with the Dalton Highway. Approximately 20 miles of the proposed road crosses NPS lands (see map on page 2).
The NPS is legally required to permit a right-of-way for this project by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). In addition, ANILCA directs that an Environmental and Economic Analysis (EEA) be prepared for the road across NPS lands in order to: 1) determine a preferred right-of-way route, and 2) develop appropriate terms and conditions for the right-of-way permit.
Two alternative routes across NPS lands were identified in the project application materials. The EEA will examine each of these. In doing so, the EEA will evaluate the environmental, social and economic impacts on preserve resources and rural and traditional lifestyles including subsistence activities along the two proposed routes.
The NPS is seeking public input on the EEA through January 31, 2018. Please see below for details.
 

Project Schedule

Tentative Date Planning Phase
Fall 2017 – Winter 2018: Public Input
Winter – Summer 2018: Prepare Draft EEA
Summer 2018: Public Review of Draft EEA
Fall – Winter 2018: Prepare Final EEA
Winter 2018: Release Final EEA
 

EEA Status-at-a-Glance

· The EEA public comment period remains open through January 31, 2018. See below for details.
· Alaska Native consultation and outreach was initiated in Spring 2017 and continues.
· NPS attended ten BLM EIS scoping meetings for the full 211-mile Ambler Road Project conducted in November & December, 2017.
 
Both large and detailed view of proposed Ambler Right of Way route
Both large and detailed view of proposed Ambler Right of Way route

Did You Know?

Under ANILCA Section 201(4), the NPS is legally required to permit right-of-way access across NPS lands for the Ambler Industrial Access Project. The purpose of the EEA is not to determine whether a right-of-way should be issued across NPS lands, but rather to identify the preferable route, and to develop terms and conditions for the right-of-way permit.
 

Focusing Your Comments

The most effective comments are those that provide useful information to the NPS. The following cues can help.
In your opinion, which of the two proposed alternative routes across NPS lands (mapped below) is preferable and why? Is there another route or a modification to the proposed routes that should be considered? If so, why?
Do you have specific suggestions for permit terms and conditions? Issues or resources for which permit conditions might be considered include measures to protect wildlife and fish, road maintenance and operation including dust control, emergency response and safety, spills and spill response.
Your thoughts or suggestions on these or other possible permit conditions are much appreciated.
 

To Submit Comments

Preferred Method: Online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/Ambler
Or contact: Greg Dudgeon, Superintendent
Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve
4175 Geist Rd, Fairbanks AK 99709
Email: yuga_ambler_road@nps.gov
 

Helpful Links

Project Application Materials: http://www.ambleraccess.com/SF299.html
NPS Project Website: https://www.nps.gov/gaar/learn/management/ambler-row.htm

Last updated: February 14, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 30
Bettles, AK 99726

Phone:

(907) 692-5494

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