Willow filmmaker debuts movie opposing road to Ambler Mining District
The state considers the Ambler Mining District one of the largest undeveloped copper-zinc mineral belts in the world, but a road would need to be built in order to access it.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build a gravel road that would stretch across the southern part of the Brooks Range to provide industrial access to the Ambler Mining District.
It would go from the Dalton Highway through the Gates of the Arctic National Park, crossing state, Native corporation and federal lands, plus streams and rivers some say are crucial to the local subsistence lifestyle.
Willow filmmaker Jayme Dittmar made a movie showcasing people who live in the villages that would be impacted by the project. She shot the film in 64 days between July and November 2016.
"I'm a dog musher, so I've taken dogs into several of these different villages," Dittmar said. "I started hearing from different people about this project going through, and they didn't want it, and they really didn't feel like they could do anything about it."
Nearly 200 people turned out at King Street Brewing Company Friday night for an early preview of "Paving Tundra."
Audubon Alaska executive director Natalie Dawson says she hopes people ask questions about the road and what mining in Alaska looks like in the 21st century.
"They start to ask questions, not just about this project, but what we want this state to look like in 10, 20, 30 years, especially now as we feel the impacts of climate change," she said.
Dittmar is looking for a distributor for "Paving Tundra." She plans to show it during an upcoming public hearing on the project hosted by the Bureau of Land Management.
Public comment on the Ambler Road project ends Oct. 29.
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