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Opinion: I want an Ambler Road, but not the one that’s been proposed

I do want an Ambler Road from Nome to Ambler.

  • By Adeline Raboff
  • Friday, June 24, 2022 12:41pm
  • Opinion

Adeline Raboff

I for one do not want Ambler Road laid out where it has been proposed. It’s been a bum idea from-the-get-go.

I do want an Ambler Road from Nome to Ambler.

There are three corporations that are telling us where to build a road with state and federal funds which belong to all of us. This sounds more like what happens in the swamps of Florida and in the bowels of Texas.

We are the New Fronteir. This is not just lip service. We live in an exceptionally rich environmental state. Is there another state in the union with a Permanent Fund? Alaska spans five time zones, we decided to have one time zone. A U.S. Senator got voted into office with a write-in vote. Santa Claus ran for public office!

We have one of the best geothermal operations outside of Iceland in the world in Chena Hot Springs.

Why are the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Corp., NANA Regional Corp., and Doyon, Ltd., so committed to a road from Mile 221 Haul Road to Ambler, Alaska? There has been a wall of persistent resistance from the start.

I am suggesting a Road from Nome to Ambler. Why? Here are a few reasons.

1. It would save hundreds of miles to market, thereby reducing cost.

2. It would be the beginning of a real road system for the Seward Peninsula and the Northwest Arctic.

3. It would reduce the price of heating oil and gas in the region.

4. It would reduce the cost of transportation.

5. It would increase safety of travel between the communities in the region.

6. It would improve the rate of teacher retention in the region.

7. It would expand tourism.

8. The Port of Nome will invite the Coast Guard, Navy, U.S. military and Strategic Forces, Border Patrol agencies, expand the Alaska Marine Highway, international university oceanographic programs, and international boat traffic.

9. All of which is the development of infrastructure for the region, and

10. The sort of development that must happen for Alaska, and especially for the Northwest Arctic and the Seward Peninsula.

Alaska is a 21st century frontier. That means we are the brave new world strategists and developers that Asimov never dreamed of. Life in Alaska is dynamic. Things can and do change in a heartbeat.

We have the best of many worlds, we have techies, national and international business savvy, organizational skills, hard labor know how, and people willing and able to work in some pretty hair-raising environmental settings.

Yes, I would like to see the Seward Peninsula and The Port of Nome, and the Northwest Arctic developed with an Ambler Road. An Ambler Road that people can take pride in, one that they had an opportunity to have a say in.

Alaska is a network of community and people. What Joe in Nome, and Joe in Port Protection, and Joe in the Pribiloff’s, and Joe in Anchorage say resonates throughout the state. We want to leave a beautiful community that our kids will love, a legacy of good stewardship.

Yes, I want an Ambler Road from Nome to Ambler, Alaska.

• Adeline Raboff is an ethnographer, historian, genealogist and writer who lives in Fairbanks. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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