A belated thank you to all of the teachers, students, and volunteer staff of the Humbolt County Author Festival - with a special nod to Jacoby Creek Elementary and Big Lagoon - it was a terrific experience as usual, and I look forward to seeing you all again in another two years. And to the kids and parents brave enough to GRRR! My heroes!!!
Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project :) Onward and upward!
Want to paint, draw, or collage your own Polar Bear Post Card? The template above is designed for a 6 x 4.25 final trim and will be perfect for your polar bear post carding needs.
1.) Download a hi-res version HERE
2.) Print on a heavier card stock or water color paper (the BEST options for sturdy cards!)
3.) Trim to marks
4.) Paint a polar bear
5.) Write a quick note about why we should protect the Arctic
6.) Add a stamp, and finally...
7.) Send it to:
President Barak Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
The “1002″ is the currently unprotected area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
For the sake of explanation, this was my second Presidential Post Card as mailed last week. I will post three additional images in due course and then adopt a schedule of updating the images as they are created and mailed. Stay tuned!
Last week, after over a month since visiting Kaktovik, Alaska and many hours spent thinking about my own potential contribution to protecting Alaska's Coastal Plain, I made a decision: The Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project!
That being said, stay tuned for many MANY polar bears in the next 62 weeks and a template as well so that you can send your own.
Dear Mr. President,
Six weeks ago my family and I returned home from a trip to Kaktovik, Alaska. Tom Campion, who you know is passionate about protecting the Arctic, had graciously invited us along due to some cancellations by other parties. We jumped at the chance! The Campions know my wife Sarah through their philanthropic and conservation works here in Washington State, and I am a children’s book author/illustrator with a particular fondness for polar bears.
Having spent my elementary school years in Anchorage, the trip was extra special for the inclusion of our 12 year-old daughter Keeley, and for the opportunity to view this amazing place in the company of the Campions, author Terry Tempest Williams and her husband Brooke, and LatinoGreens founder, Mark Magaña. Truly, what were we doing on this trip?
As you know from your own recent travels, Alaska is complex. It is vast and wild, but somehow fragile and precious. It evokes a curious mix of awe and empathy, and it leaves a lasting impression. You know the politics far better than I, and there are many sides and interests. Still, in the simplest terms, the 1002 and the unprotected areas of Alaska’s Coastal Plain have an immeasurable value far beyond their short-term life as a commercial good. This “one last place” needs to remain intact.
Yes, it is important for polar bear den sites and reindeer calving grounds, for a diversity of species and for many other reasons of environmental nature, but it’s also important for “us” — as the greater extensions of Keeley and Sasha and Malia — as an example to the rest of the world that we can stop — that progress and change might mean finding a better way — and that saying “no” in permanent terms to short-sighted development will in fact spur innovation in other areas and directions — both for the country and for affected Alaskans.
I’ve been illustrating books for 15 years. I draw a comic strip in my local newspaper. I teach. I coach, and I volunteer in my schools and community. I have a quiet voice and a small platform — certainly nothing like that of our Kaktovik companions — but I also know that you are smart and that you seem to listen. So I bring you this, both as a serious outreach, and as hopefully something a little different to your every day:
THE PRESIDENTIAL POLAR BEAR POST CARD PROJECT! From now until the end of your term, I will paint and send you five polar bear postcards each week! I know that Tom is bending your ear about protecting the 1002 — about preserving for all time a Monument status for something worth saving — so I am jumping into the fray with my best children’s book illustrator swagger. If a polar bear postcard five days a week keeps even a glimmer of hope alive — or provides an occasional pause for thought - then it will be well worth the effort.
With many thanks for your service to our country, for taking the time to listen, and for your Presidential actions so far.
PS The actual letter looks likes this: