Ambler DEIS Comments
September 23, 2019 • Fairbanks

Good evening. My name is Marleanna Hall, executive director of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. RDC is a statewide trade association with members in the fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries, as well as the 12 land owning Alaska Native corporations, and thousands of individuals. I only have brief comments today, but first, thank you for the opportunity to comment today. I’m here in support of access to the Ambler mining district, as well as support for seeing any proposed projects, such as mining, be allowed to go through the permitting process.

It is important to note that this is an early step in the process, and there will be additional opportunities to comment on not only the road when it is formally proposed, but any mining project that might come before the agencies. 

Specifically speaking to the road, if built, it will be paid for by project proponents through financing, and will ultimately provide a number of benefits to the region, Alaska, and America. Further, the potential mining projects in the area could deliver positive impacts including family wage jobs, opportunities for hiring locally, and many other benefits.

RDC, as we have earlier in the process as well, urges the BLM to adequately consult with stakeholders, such Alaska Native corporations including Doyon Ltd. and NANA Regional Corporation, and potential project proponents for responsible resource development in the Ambler Mining District.

Lastly, we acknowledge that there are special interests that oppose further development of mined materials in Alaska and elsewhere. However, mineral development in Alaska could ultimately prove indispensable as forecasts indicate our nation’s mineral demands will increase. The demands will continue to be satisfied, often through the use of imported minerals, when instead the resources should be developed and produced here in Alaska where operations are strictly regulated and best management activities are employed to avoid and minimize impacts. 

RDC will submit in depth comments before the comment deadline. Thank you for the opportunity to comment today.