Arctic Dreams

Brooks Range, Alaska

Barry Lopez died today. A voice of sanity goes silent, only to live on in his books. His words are like artful brush strokes painting stories of a threatened world.

Because mankind can circumvent evolutionary law, it is incumbent upon him, say evolutionary biologists to develop another law to abide by if he wishes to survive, to not outstrip his food base. He must learn restraint. He must derive some other, wiser way of behaving toward the land.

Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez used the pen to battle the destruction of our fragile world. Time will tell whether the Arctic will remain a place visited, inhabited and cherished by few or another industrial stumping ground in our last ditch effort to extract minerals and fossil fuel from it.

John River, Alaska

In 2020 the Ambler Road and area 1002 have made significant strides forward and we may soon see heavy machinery rumble through pristine interior areas and coastal planes of Alaska. All in the name of a short-lived economic boost. Currently, there are no roads into these areas. Natives have used these lands for thousands of years to sustain their existence. To describe the stark beauty of these places requires a Barry Lopez.

“Over the years, one comes to measure a place, too, not just for the beauty it may give, the balminess of its breezes, the insouciance and relaxation it encourages, the sublime pleasures it offers, but for what it teaches. The way in which it alters our perception of the human. It is not so much that you want to return to indifferent or difficult places, but that you want to not forget.”

Barry Lopez

Rest in Peace.


6 thoughts on “Arctic Dreams

  1. Vicki says:

    Infinitely sad. Both that a humanitarian and environmentalist died……and also that the pristine wilderness of this area of Alaska might be violated by man.

    • The irony is that both projects intersect or are adjacent to “protected” areas. The Ambler road, a 211-mile-long industrial road, would cross Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, 2900 streams and 11 major rivers, including the Kobuk, a designated Wild and Scenic River, and would permanently fill over 2,000 acres of wetland. Area 1002 borders native lands and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd and use by migratory birds as a breeding and feeding ground. Oh well.

  2. Incredible photos and incredible tribute ~ ones like you can help to fill the void. Wish you a peaceful few days of this year before starting another journey in ’21.

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