Interior Villages Join TCC in Ambler Road Lawsuit

Press Release: On October 7th, 2020, Alatna Village, Allakaket Village, Evansville Village, Huslia Village, and Native Village of Tanana, joined Tanana Chiefs Conference in a suit against the Bureau of Land Management, National Parks Service, and the US Army Corp of Engineers in which we asked the court to vacate and set aside the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Ambler Road.  Today’s lawsuit is the unfortunate result of rushed, flawed, premature, and inadequate reviews relating to the adverse impacts of the Ambler Road Project and associated mining activity and secondary access roads on fish, wildlife, habitat, subsistence, historic properties, water resources, and public lands. 

After filing the suit in the federal District Court for Alaska, Victor Joseph Chief/Chairman of Tanana Chief Conference stated, “The decision whether to construct the Ambler road has huge implications for the people in the region as it could lead to multiple mining projects in the area which could harm the health of the people and wildlife resources, and potentially open the entire country to easy access from the road system.  The concerns about these issues were not addressed by any of the government entities involved in the decision to approve the road.”

The Chief of Alatna, Harding Sam stated, “In a rush to get this decision done, the consultation processes of the government entities involved in the decision were not meaningful.  Congress put into law the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Protection Act, to require the government to consider local community input with specific standards-those laws have been violated in the issuance of the final evaluation for the Ambler Road Project. ” Carl Burgett, the First Chief of Huslia stated, “This road could change life in our region more than any other single decision in history, and yet the people most affected by it have largely been left out.  We are therefore compelled to ask the courts to protect our hunting and fishing resources and activities, ancestral lands and waters of cultural and economic significance along the hundreds of thousands of acres of the proposed Ambler Road because the federal agencies failed to do so. ”

October 7th, 2020
Contact: Natasha Singh • General Counsel • 907-452-8251 ext.3008