Yesterday the United States District Court for Alaska granted the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI’s) motion for voluntary remand of the Joint Record of Decision (JROD) on the Ambler Access Project.
The decision comes after the DOI’s request for voluntary remand to conduct additional analysis of potential impacts to subsistence and the environment, and engage in additional government-to-government consultation with Tribes regarding cultural sites.
NANA is an Intervenor-Defendant in the case. NANA is not in favor of the DOI’s request for voluntary remand but applauds the court’s decision not to vacate the JROD.
The court agreed with NANA’s request to retain jurisdiction over the case and to require the DOI to provide status reports every 60 days.
“We urge the DOI to quickly complete the additional analysis, and to meaningfully consult with Tribes and Alaska Native corporations,” said Saagulik Elizabeth Hensley, NANA’s vice president, external and government affairs.
The JROD and the processes it lays out ensure that communities along the proposed road corridor will have a strong voice in how any road project would move forward. The JROD is supported broadly in northwest Alaska, including by NANA, Maniilaq Association, ten of 11 federally recognized Tribes in the NANA region, as well as the Northwest Arctic Borough and Northwest Arctic Borough School District.