It was our September trip to Kaktovik that started this project. And it's still there. Barter Island and Kaktovik, Alaska. On the edge of the Beaufort Sea. Due east of Prudhoe Bay and the epicenter of oil development on the North Slope. The value of the Coastal Plain untouched is FAR greater than it is with oil rigs and drilling platforms.
Like a mix of the polar bear and a grizzly, the Spirit Bear or Kermode Bear received recent favor in light of further and substantial Canadian protections of the Great Bear Rainforest. Good on 'ya Canada! Kind of like the President potentially adding further protections to the Arctic National Wildlife refuge... where a choice can be made in favor of the environment over continued exploitation of resources.
"Please take care of this bear"
If Paddington had been a polar bear - and had one last snowball in his jar and traveling case.
For the dignity of a species, we should protect the Arctic - preserving the vast wild sanctity of the 1002 and the Coastal Plain - and I'm not talking about polar bears.
Having our first real thaw of the winter this last week or so. Great (finally!) for packing some snow together and building stuff, but a little melty when it hits the upper 30's and a LOT heavier for shoveling - plus messier for waxing those classic skis with klister. So it goes :) All in a good winter!
73 post cards complete and I finally set up a proper landing page on my website. So click the logo in the upper right hand corner or check things out at www.polarbearpostcardproject.com. Nothing that I haven't posted before, but if you're new to the project or you'd like to make a post card of your own, then this is the best "one-stop-shopping" that you can do. Thanks for your support thus far, and let's send even more polar bear post cards the President's way. Jump on in, the water's fine!
As large and impressive as they might be, polar bears pale in certain comparison to the vastness of the Arctic. The bowhead whale, pictured here in relatively correct scale (with a larger whale and a smaller bear) is one of the main reasons for the polar bear population that we witnessed in Kaktovik, Alaska on the edge of the 1002 and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Subsistence hunting allows the native population in Kaktovik to take three whales each year as a part of their annual whale hunt. The remaining bone pile -- on the outskirts of town beyond the airstrip -- becomes a draw for polar bears that are stranded closer to the mainland by receding pack ice. In the photo below you can see my daughter Keeley standing in front of a bowhead whale skull - one of the only times that we didn't see bears picking through the bones!