An Arctic Refuge For All Americans

Packrafting the Okpilak - Luc Mehl

The 20-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the “Last Great Wilderness”, a place sacred to many, central to the culture of multiple Alaskan tribes, and one of the few remaining intact ecosystems untouched by modern man. At stake is the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, a rich tundra that provides critical habitat for polar bears, muskox, caribou, and more than 200 species of migratory birds.  All of which are under threat by climate change. Few people really understand the Arctic Refuge’s true value — and what will be lost with industrialized oil and gas development.

The American Packrafting Association has worked with Alpacka Raft to build two custom packrafts for

Cracks in the Permfrost – Luc Mehl

the Arctic Refuge. This past summer, Ms. Mardy and Olaus, crisscrossed the Refuge on six different trips, collecting signatures and stories about their journeys. Many thanks to Arctic Wild for distributing the boats and emergency repairs.  This spring, the plan is to packraft the Potomac River  and carry the boats into the halls of Congress. Raising awareness of this incredible place is critical to saving the coastal plain from needless destruction by oil and gas exploitation.

Sarah Tingey with Ms. Mardy

For packrafters, the Arctic Refuge is holy ground, a place to put into practice what has been learned through countless backcountry trips, blistered feet, and brush whipped faces. It is not easy to get to the Arctic Refuge, but packrafting is making it possible, for those on a budget who are willing to travel where there are no man-made trails.

Remember, the Arctic Refuge is for all Americans, not just those profiting from BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. Ask yourself, do we really want or even need another Prudhoe Bay that center punches a hole in the heart of the Last Great Wilderness?

Get Educated, Speak Up, and Plan a Trip to your Arctic Refuge.

Packrafting the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain with Caribou – Luc Mehl

Contact Us

American Packrafting Association

PO Box 13
Wilson, WY 83014