Development within the Range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd

Development has the potential to greatly impact the caribou and the people of northwest Alaska. Learn more about proposed development projects by visiting the websites below:

Alaska Department of Transportation: summary of Northern Region projects

Proposed Development in the Range 2019

Proposed Development in the Range 2019

1. Ambler Road Project
The Ambler Mining Industrial Access Road Project proposes about 200 miles of road between the proposed Ambler Mining District and Dalton Highway, crossing WAH migration routes. A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is expected July 2019 with opportunity for public comment. Contact project manager Tina McMaster-Goering at (907) 271-1310 or

2. National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska
Integrated Activity Plan Revision

The Integrated Activity Plan (IAP) of 2013 which guides land use within the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A), opens about half of the land for oil and gas development while setting aside the other half to protect wildlife, subsistence, and other values. This plan protects the calving
grounds and other important habitat for the WAH and Teshekpuk Caribou Herd. The plan is being revised and the removal of some protections is being considered. The Working Group submitted detailed scoping comments asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to maintain or strengthen existing protections for caribou habitat. A draft revised IAP is expected in Fall 2019 with opportunity for public comment. For details contact Stephanie Rice at (907)271-3203 or

3. Willow Master Development Plan
A draft EIS is expected in 2019 for the Willow development project within the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd’s range in the northeastern NPR-A, and there
will be opportunities for public comment. This project would expand development west into the Bear Tooth Unit from existing NPR-A developments in the Alpine and Greater Mooses Tooth Units.

4. Red Dog Mine
In addition to continuing mining operations at the Red Dog Mine, Teck American Inc. has requested permits to conduct exploration of the Anarraaq – Aktigiruq mineral deposits about 8 miles north of the current Red Dog Mine. Exploration will include building a gravel road and surface exploration facilities. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has approved the permit request. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still considering the application. The Working Group submitted comments about potential impacts to caribou to inform the permitting process.

5. Noatak – Cape Krusenstern Road
A road is proposed from Noatak to the Red Dog road to haul fuel for Noatak and move gravel and equipment for airport improvements. The proposed route passes through Cape Krusenstern National Monument. Limited information is available and there has not yet been an opportunity for Working Group involvement.

6. Arctic Strategic Transportation and Resources
This project seeks to develop plans to support creation of roads and other infrastructure between communities and resource development areas on the North Slope. The project is still in the planning and analysis stages and no concrete proposals have been made. The Working Group is paying close attention as previous maps have shown roads passing through WAH calving grounds.