Proposed road to mining district draws more opposition

A multi-million-dollar road proposed to run from the Matanuska Valley to the Yentna Mining District in the Alaska Range is prompting a new campaign from business owners concerned that the road would have an adverse impact on their business operations.

View of Denali and Alaska Range from Denali State Park. Source: Wikimedia Commons

A multi-million-dollar road proposed to run from the Matanuska Valley to the Yentna Mining District in the Alaska Range is prompting a new campaign from business owners concerned that the road would have an adverse impact on their business operations.

The West Susitna Access Road project is being promoted by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a state corporation, in partnership with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Last fall the road project received a $8.5 million appropriation from the Alaska Legislature.

Backers of the project, including the Alaska Miners Association, say the benefits would include access to ore deposits, coal and timber. Calls to the AMA for additional comment were not returned before the deadline for this edition.

A major benefactor out be Australian owned mining company Nova Minerals Ltd.

The Alaska Range Alliance, a group of Alaskan small business owners, fishermen, hunters, pilots, snow machiners and others, announced on Wednesday, June 1, a $200,000 media campaign  to educate Alaskans on their view that certain non-resident corporate interests are trying to fast-track thus multi-million dollar state funded project that would benefit foreign mining interests, among others.

Said Steve Perrins, a lodge owner, master guide and board member of the Alaska Range Alliance, “If Alaskans don’t get educated on what’s happening, the politicians just might light the match on yet another expensive and unwanted dumpster fire. We encourage members of the public to ask Governor Dunleavy where he stands on the issue of protecting Alaskan small businesses vs subsidizing foreign corporations.”