Take Action Now

the arctic national
wildlife refuge
needs your help

the last expanse

photos by aundre
  68.4314° N, 143.6910° W

the place
Home to the migrating Porcupine Caribou herd and denning polar bears, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the last expanse. The refuge spans a length of over 19 million acres (~ the size of S. Carolina) and it needs your help. This land is held sacred by the Gwich’in people, who are connected to Caribou as their main food source and way of life, as they have been for thousands of years.

the problem
The Trump administration, working with Republicans in Congress and an Alaska Native corporation, is pushing for oil exploration in the refuge.

Approval from Congress to open the area to oil exploration was included in the 2017 tax bill as a way to generate new revenue for the federal government.

By next year, the Interior Department expects to begin selling the first drilling leases.

According to the NYTimes, “the Trump administration is on pace to finish an environmental impact assessment in half the usual time. An even shorter evaluation of the consequences of seismic testing is nearing completion. Within months, trucks weighing up to 90,000 pounds could be conducting the tests across the tundra as they try to pinpoint oil reserves.”

why you should care
This is one of the last wild, pristine pieces of land in America, let alone the world. It is public land that belongs to all Americans, and is your land to protect.

“Seismic testing,” although it sounds banal will bring noise, sound and physical pollution to an area that is home to animals and the indigenous communities that live and depend on this land, the Gwich’in people. This austere and incredible landscape could quickly be no more, robbing the Gwich’in of their way of life and their main sources of food.

Lastly, the Arctic is ground zero for climate change; temperatures in the Arctic are rising at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. The permafrost in the refuge store carbon from the atmosphere, and are at risk of release as they continue to melt. It is a delicate place that needs to be protected.

how you can help
  1. Reach out to your Senator to support bill H.R. 1146, repealing the provision in the tax bill that allows Arctic Refuge drilling.

  2. Purchase a limited edition print of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Proceeds go to the Gwich’in Steering committee.

  3. Register to vote & vote for politicians that have environment and climate change on their agenda.

  4. Donate to Alaska Wilderness League.

  5. Share this project—

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how did this trip happen?
by Aundre Larrow
In efforts to raise awareness about this issue, The North Face invited, five young creators (Monica Hernandez, Nathan Zed, Julia Fisher-Salmon, Maia Wikler and myself as well as Kit Deslauriers, TNF athlete) to go to the refuge and see it’s vastness firsthand. Let me tell you,it was a hell of an introduction. My first time this far from home, camping in one of the most remote places in the United States, listening to the Hula-Hula River run and watching caribou study us from afar.

The thing that struck me most was the effect our temporary presence had on such a pristine environment. Even just camping there for a couple days, when we picked up our tents up, the ground was different. Where the snowmobiles were, the ground was different. Our presence changed the landscape. If we sat still for long enough, animals would just walk really close to our campground. We were visitors in their home.

Being out there was a recalibration of self and made me realize that we as humans have a responsibility to understand the impact we make on our shared environment.

“The environment matters most because the resource has been there forever where money will get you started and it wont buy enough chicken to feed us or give the purest drinking water,”

- Julie M.

“If we could find a balance, being able to drill without decimating the land and wildlife, then I would be for the revenue to go to the communities and people of Alaska.”

- Cheyenne N.

photos by Aundre Larrow

“Last wild untamed piece of land that is left, we must preserve what is ours, not only for food source for my people, but for all to have in years to come. as my people have for years and years before us.”

- Kelly F.

“Money will never replace the land, animals or people living in the area of the arctic national wildlife refuge.”

- Monica P.