From our friends at Law 360:

In a motion filed Thursday, Alaska, joined by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, urged U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to further explain her May remand order regarding the Ambler Access Project, saying it should be unambiguous that BLM’s authority is limited to federal lands, thereby precluding it from blocking the state from conducting preconstruction geotechnical work on its own lands.

NANA Regional Corp. Inc., an Alaska native regional corporation, and Ambler Metals LLC also joined in the motion. 

“BLM claims that its commitment to this court to maintain the ‘environmental status quo’ means that all geotechnical work is prohibited … Because BLM claims that its hands are tied by the orders and its commitment to this court, intervenor defendants seek clarification that the orders do not prohibit all geotechnical work,” the state and AIDEA said.

The Ambler project was authorized by the federal government in July 2020 under the Trump administration, greenlighting construction of the road connecting to copper and metal mines of Ambler Metals LLC, which will span portions of the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and other public lands.

A coalition of tribal councils and environmental groups challenged the project in Alaska federal court, forcing the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse course in February 2022. After the agencies told the court the prior administration’s review of potential impacts on tribal lands and subsistence uses was “deficient,” Judge Gleason granted their remand request in May.

Read Madeline Lyskawa’s full article at Law 360 HERE.