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December 19, 2014
AIDEA’s two day meeting that was held in Fairbanks, ended with a public hearing Wednesday (12/17/14) with dozens of tribal and village leaders, business owners, and residents of the Brooks Range speaking out against the road to Ambler and the impact the proposed road would have on their way of life.
Julie Robert-Hyslop, vice president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference stated: “We need to stop being controlled by foreign investments, they’re coming into our land, tearing up our land and leaving what? They take the dollar with them. When is the government going to start listening to our voice and what we want? Not what they want, but what we want.”
Veteran Alaska guide and bush pilot Art Mortvedt said the road could destroy wilderness. “There are some things on which one cannot put a price. The wilderness integrity of an intact, unadulterated Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, along with the preservation of a very unique subsistence lifestyle, are two of these things on which one cannot put a price,” he said. “Rather than build another road to nowhere, let’s stop this project now,” he said.
Irene Henry of Allakaket was accompanied by three grandchildren — Jessica, Flora and Megan — who held up signs that showed the importance of fish and game, berries, open spaces and Native culture. She stated that the road and the mine would lead to irreversible destruction.
Read the full article about the meeting here.
December 17, 2014
As Alaska’s budget woes continue to become evident the question of what, if any, of the capital-intensive megaprojects (such as the proposed Ambler Road) should be funded has become forefront in the news.
“Alaska has no shortage of capital-intensive megaprojects in the works, but now the state is scrambling to find funds to cover the basic needs for state operating expenses. As oil prices continue to dip, the fortunes of Alaska’s megaprojects are waning precipitously. The question of how many such projects the state can afford — if any — should be a focus of budgeting efforts in the coming months.” Read the full article here.
Megaprojects such as Susitna-Watana Dam, the Ambler Mine Road Project, and the Knik Arm Bridge Crossing were tentatively put on hold while Governor Bill Walker attempted to adjust the states budget, slimming it down to $106 million from the $220 million of unrestricted state dollars former Gov. Sean Parnell had planned to spend. Read the full article from the Newsminer here, and the article from the Alaska Dispatch News here.