Late last year, True Blue was tapped to help a coalition of community and Tribal leaders, conservationists, hunters, and fiscal responsibility advocates develop an awareness and activation campaign to protect critical caribou habitat, clean water, national park lands, and wilderness from a proposed road project that would initiate the development of a massive industrial mining corridor that cuts through the heart of beautiful Northwest Alaska. After months of hard work with coalition partners, we were thrilled to send True Blue Campaign Director Sam Snyder to Washington, DC in May to celebrate the launch of this important new campaign: Defend the Brooks Range.
Defend the Brooks Range works to stop the development of what is commonly known as the Ambler Road — a proposed 211-mile, private, industrial access corridor that would run through the headwaters of the Kobuk and Koyukuk watersheds, impacting a massive area that includes the traditional lands of over 40 Alaska Native tribes. The Alaska Native villages of Kobuk, Shungnak, and Ambler sit just downstream from where international mining companies hope to break ground on multiple open-pit mines. This project directly threatens some of our country’s most majestic landscapes, including Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The road would also disrupt the over 2,700-mile migration route of the Western Arctic caribou herd, threatening the communities that rely on hunting the herd to feed their families.
The Biden administration and the Department of Interior are currently reviewing permits for the road during a supplemental environmental impact statement process. To engage in this process, the Defend the Brooks Range coalition traveled to DC with leaders from the impacted communities and Tribes, including the Chief/Chairman of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, and supporting organizations, such as the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, the National Parks Conservation Association, and more.
While in DC, Defend the Brooks Range unleashed messages throughout our nation’s capital. They brought the spirit of the Brooks Range to life through beautiful print ads that ran in The New York Times and on Politico and hosted a screening of the film Paving Tundra at the Patagonia store in Georgetown.
We’re so proud to play a pivotal role in getting this campaign off the ground. The communities of the Brooks Range in Northwest Alaska are doing everything they can to preserve their way of life and stop this project from destroying the water, biodiversity, and cherished wild lands. It’s imperative that elected leaders slam the brakes on the Ambler Mining Road. Until then, True Blue Strategies will be right there in the trenches alongside coalition members working to protect this special place.
Be sure to check out the new website: DefendBrooksRange.org