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One Planet: How the copper & zinc Ambler Road project threatens Alaska's Native communities & wildlife

Aerial view of Ambler and the Kobuk River in the summer. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service via UAF Gates of the Arctic Research Portal)

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we're discussing a 211-mile industrial access road that would run across much of interior Alaska to the Ambler mining district, a massive but remote deposit of high-grade copper and zinc. The road would enable the extraction of more than 43 million tons of copper and zinc over at least 12 years.

The road itself crosses nearly 3,000 streams, 11 major rivers, 1,700 acres of wetlands, and major caribou migration corridor. Ambler Road would transform one of Alaska's wildest places and would threaten the way of life of Alaska natives who have lived in the region for thousands of years and depend on those resources as their primary food source. Journalist Adam Federman reports that the Biden administration has been conspicuously silent on the Ambler Road project, showing no intent to interrupt the approval process despite vocal opposition from multiple groups in Alaska.


Adam Federman, award winning journalist and reporting fellow with Type Investigations

PJ Simon, chief and chairman of the Tanana Chiefs Conference

Web Resources:

Politico: How Joe Biden’s Green Agenda Threatens the Alaskan Wilderness

The New York Times: Record Salmon in One Place. Barely Any in Another. Alarm All Around.

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.