The Army is developing a “cultural development” network to connect the Army’s development of Alaska’s new land, air, sea and waterways, the Army said on Monday.
The network, which will connect land, water and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, was approved by the US Army Board of Land Management in December, and is part of a larger initiative called Arctic Reach, which aims to connect more than 10 million acres in the Arctic to commercial fishing and recreational activities.
The project, which has been in the works for years, is part-funded by the Department of Defense and is being led by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The plan also will help the Army develop “significant assets”, including a $1bn research and development centre, to develop new products, services and technologies.
Alaska has been the site of an active military presence since the 1940s, when the first US military base was established there.
But it is not clear how the Army plans to continue to operate bases on the peninsula, and whether the US government will continue to subsidise development of those land and resources.
The proposed new network will also include land and water resources in Alaska’s far north and in the Aleutian Islands, where commercial fishing is now restricted.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the US National Park Service both voiced concerns about the plan, saying it was “not in the best interest of Alaska or the people of Alaska”.