Protecting Wild Rivers
The mission: To travel through the heart of the Brooks Range in August of this year and document wild places in an effort to raise awareness of a current
threat to four National Wild and Scenic Rivers.
My background is in education. My foreground is in photography and adventure. Between lies my desire to share my experiences and help educate others about the importance of wild places. In 2018, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and with four rivers in northern Alaska, our hope is to raise awareness to the threat facing the Koyukuk, the John, the Alatna and the Kobuk rivers.
Leaving the Haul Road, we will travel west toward Anaktuvuk Pass. After 60 miles of hiking, we'll pick up packrafts and start to paddle the John River, a National Wild and Scenic River. After covering 40 miles of the John, we'll hike west up Wolverine Creek and into the Iniakuk Valley. 45 miles on foot will bring us to the Alatna River, another NWSR. 35 miles on the Alatna will bring us to a small east/west ridgeline that should allow easy passage to Walker Lake, the end of our traverse and the beginning of our attempt on Igikpak, the tallest peak in Gates of the Arctic National Park and the headwaters of the Noatak River. A 50-mile out and back from Walker Lake, if we're successful in summiting, will be the first to do so from that angle of approach.
By partnering with environmentally conscious nonprofit organizations and outdoor brands, we can tap into a large active audience. The current threat to the southern Brooks Range is a proposed road from the Ambler Mineral District heading east over 220 miles to the Haul Road. The BLM is beginning the EIS process and public comment is open now. If we can gain enough support for maintaining wildness of one of the last true wilderness areas, we can send a strong statement to the extractive industries creating long-impacting, non-reversible changes to the environment.