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Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Division of Mining, Land and Water

Ambler Road Project

banner image of ice road

Project Description

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) has proposed to construct a 211-mile private industrial access road from mile post 161 on the Dalton Highway to the Ambler Mining District. The road is intended to facilitate mine development and transportation of ore as part of the Ambler Access Project. The road would be controlled access for approved commercial uses only; no public access would be allowed.

The road alignment crosses lands owned and/or managed by federal, state, municipal, and private entities. Currently, AIDEA has secured right-of-way (ROW) authorizations to cross federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS). Links to the BLM and NPS ROW permits, the Joint Record of Decision, and the Final Environmental Impact Statement can be accessed in the Federal Documents section below.

State Easement Application

On October 20, 2021, DMLW received an application for a private exclusive easement from AIDEA for those portions of the road on state-owned, DMLW-managed lands. The application requests a 450 ft wide easement over approximately 125 miles of the road alignment. A detailed description of the application request and proposed project details can be found in the Summary of Application for Private Easement document. A map of the road alignment with associated ancillary infrastructure can be found in Appendix A of this document.

Classification of Land

Prior to the disposal or transfer of state land or interest in state land, 11 AAC 55.040(i) requires that the land be classified. The Ambler Road alignment crosses state lands that are classified and unclassified: state lands within the Northwest Arctic Borough are classified under the Northwest Area Plan and Land Classification Order (LCO) NC-08-001, while lands east of the borough was previously unclassified. For the unclassified lands, DNR issued a Public Review Draft (PRD) of a Site Specific Plan (SSP) on January 31, 2022 for public review and comment. Prior to the April 1, 2022 comment deadline, DNR held two public meetings and received over 90 comments. The final SSP, adopted by the Commissioner of DNR on June 27, 2022, is posted below

Notice

DMLW conducted concurrent 60-day public review and comment periods for AIDEA's application for an easement on state land, and DNR's draft Site Specific Plan, which closed on April 1, 2022.

Public Notice for Field Work 2022-23: LAS 34041

State Easement Documents

Summary of Application for Private Exclusive Easement

Cover Letter from AIDEA to DMLW

Application for Easement

Application Clarification Information

Development Plan

Environmental Risk Questionnaire

Site Specific Land Use Plan

Ambler Road Site Specific Plan, Adopted June 27, 2022e

Federal Documents

Joint Record of Decision. July 2020. Prepared by U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Final Environmental Impact Statement. March 2020. Prepared by U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management.
Volume 1: Chapters 1 - 3 & Appendices A - F.
Volume 2: Appendices G - K.
Volume 3: Appendices L - R.
Volume 4: Maps

Right-of-Way Grant F-97112. January 5, 2021. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management.

NPS Right-of-Way Permit No. RW GAAR-21-001. January 5, 2021. United States Department of Interior, National Park Service, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

NPS Record of Decision. July 14, 2020. Decision by the Secretaries of the Interior and Transportation.

Bureau of Land Management documents may also be found at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/57323/570.

National Park Service documents may also be found at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=37092.

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