If we build this road there will be no end to mining, only an end to our culture.

Shield Downey, former First Chief of Ivisaappaat (Ambler) Tribal Council

Threat: Mining, Development, Climate Change

The free-flowing Kobuk River lies north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, at the northern edge of the boreal forest that flanks the Brooks Range. The river meanders through homelands of the Indigenous Iñupiat who continue to live from their ancestral lands as they have for millennia. The river’s abundant fish and wildlife provide spiritual, cultural, and nutritional sustenance to the Iñupiat communities. With no road connections or industrial development, the river offers a rare glimpse into an almost primordial North American landscape. The proposed Ambler Road and associated mining development would cause irreparable harm to the Kobuk’s water quality and fish and wildlife, threatening communities all along the river. The Biden Administration must revoke all permits allowing construction of the road.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:
  • Protect the Kobuk
  • Northern Alaska Environmental Center
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Native Movement

Wild salmon are under increasing threat from climate change and ocean conditions, which means we must do all we can to protect freshwater habitat…We can’t let short-term mine profits for foreign companies threaten the long-term health of the Chilkat watershed and those who depend on it.

Chris Zimmer, Alaska Director, Rivers Without Borders 

Threat: Mining

Every year, hundreds of thousands of salmon swim from the Pacific Ocean into the Jilḵáat Aani Ḵa Héeni (Chilkat River watershed) to spawn. Alaska natives and other communities depend upon the river and its abundance for their culture and livelihood. But the Palmer Project, a proposed copper and zinc mine, is about to move to the next stage of development, which could release hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater per day into nearby creeks that feed directly into the Klehini and Chilkat rivers, potentially crippling the entire ecosystem of the Chilkat Valley. This is in addition to the already concerning impacts of climate change, such as rapid glacier melting and a historic increase in rainfall. Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must act now to ensure the fundamental protections guaranteed by the federal Clean Water Act are not abandoned and a grave environmental injustice is not allowed.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:
  • Alaska Clean Water Advocacy
  • Endorsed by Chilkat Indian Village