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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.