Cancel the Ambler Road project

On April 6, the Legislature will hold a hearing on building a private industrial road through Gates of the Arctic National Preserve to copper deposits in the Ambler Mining District. My family and I were fortunate to experience Gates of the Arctic on foot.

In a 2015 backpacking trip my 11-year-old son counted 19 rodent-gnawed caribou antlers that were sinking into the mossy tundra. We hiked from the Dalton Highway over a ridge and stopped for a hot lunch of quesadillas while soaking in the expansive views of the Brooks Range that made me instantly understand why this land is this a national park and preserve, a roadless one at that.

We ate blueberries until our lips and hands were stained, caught a glimpse of a wolf, climbed over remains of a landslide, forded rocky creeks, plucked a Dall sheep’s skull from a remnant snowfield and tested our new sleeping bags next to a frosty alpine lake. A treeless, tundra-covered, mountainous landscape was truly foreign to my son. My hope as a father is that my son will, like me, appreciate these wild Alaska landscapes through his experiences.

In 2017, Gates of the Arctic had about 10,000 visitors and contributed $15.8 million to Alaska’s economy. Gov. Bill Walker and the Legislature should cancel the Ambler Road project. It would hurt tourism and would forever scar the nation’s second-largest national park. May the next family that hikes into the park be able to count caribou antlers and not ore trucks from a mine.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

 

More

City of Juneau’s negotiated deal on AEL&P is a step in the right direction

We applaud the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly for stepping up to the plate on behalf of Juneau residents and businesses. The CBJ Assembly... Read more

Sen. Murkowski, don’t vote for the FCC’s Net Neutrality repeal

In 2002, when Yahoo was the Web’s main search engine and Amazon still mostly sold books, I founded a family-run Alaska-based e-commerce company selling custom... Read more