Biden Administration Stops Ambler Mining Road and Moves to Protect 28M Acres of Public Lands

In June 2024, the Biden administration took a major step towards safeguarding Alaska public lands by stopping the controversial industrial Ambler Mining Road and moving to restore protections for 28 million acres of public lands in Alaska. These actions help ensure that these intact and ecologically diverse lands are managed for the benefit of local communities and wildlife, not industry profits.

The proposed 211-mile Ambler Mining Road has faced years of strong opposition from Alaska Native communities – with 89 tribes and First Nations issuing or signing onto resolutions against the proposal. Originally approved by the Trump administration, President Biden ordered his Interior Department to conduct a new environmental review of the road due to the inadequate analysis performed by the previous administration. The all-season gravel road would have cut through the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, crossing thousands of streams and 11 major rivers while “significantly and irrevocably” harming the environment, wildlife, and the subsistence hunting traditions of more than 60 Alaska Native communities.

In a separate announcement, the Biden administration released an environmental study that recommended maintaining protections from extractive development on 28 million acres of public land. Commonly known as D1 lands, these lands provide critical habitat for bears, caribou, and muskox, and include the Bristol Bay watershed. In its analysis, the Biden administration found that revoking these protections would harm up to 117 Alaska Native communities.

The Biden administration’s actions will help to protect a globally significant 100 million-acre intact, roadless landscape while securing subsistence resources critical to numerous communities in Alaska.

Learn more here.