We asked our activists to tell us about their passion for protecting Alaska’s wild places. The most frequent words and themes in these stories – beauty, Earth, future, protect – alluded to a grand reverence for the timelessness of nature’s creation and the need for its preservation.
Below is a sampling of the inspiring stories we’ve received from around the country. We’d love to hear from you, too. Click here to share your story with us.
- I am a retired Merchant Marine officer who worked on oil tankers for many years. I have witnessed firsthand the devastation and destruction caused by oil companies and the U.S. government when left to their own devices in the world’s oceans. Illegal discharging of ‘slop’ oils into the seas was common practice (you’d lose your job if you didn’t do it) and still is to a certain extent today. The destruction of our environment by corporations, with government head-nodding approval, has been boundless and well documented. I have seen this in my 66 years of living in this country. As I get older I find my love for all wildlife and all of our wonderful wild places grows deeper and deeper. We must not lose these things; we must shepherd them properly. This is our responsibility to all life on this little planet.
– Paul P., Massachusetts
– Leonard G., New Hampshire
- I am a secretary in a Manhattan financial firm. As a secretary in the ‘concrete jungle’, I would like to know that we are striving to save habitats for all wildlife. I’d like to know that my future grandchildren can learn about animals in the present tense and not in museums housing stuffed replicas of extinct species.
– Lorraine S., New York
- I am a pediatric chaplain at a large hospital. The places I go to restore my soul and my hope are the wild and peaceful places. They are better than medicine for my heart’s sorrow. We need to keep these wild places WILD and pristine. Please let the Alaska wilderness remain wild. Thank you.
– Nan S., Minnesota
- I am a single father of two young boys and an avid outdoorsman. I care about protecting wild Alaska because of my children and their endless questions about our planet, our country and all of the treasures it holds. I want all of Alaska’s natural resources and wildlife protected for my boys’ benefit; as well as all future generations to discover.
– Kenneth D., Pennsylvania
– Michael Q., Alaska
- I am a student of landscape architecture who looks for the full depth of meanings we place on the land. It saddens and angers me to see a landscape rich with cultural importance and crucial habitat pared down to the oil beneath the soil. Let’s focus our collective human brilliance (and money) on developing alternative energy sources now instead of putting it off until later and damaging an irreplaceable landscape in the process.
– Stephanie N., Iowa
- I’ve been a registered Republican since 1979, and I support the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because, as a member of Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP), I know that conservation is conservative. But don’t take my word for it; after all, it was President Eisenhower, a Republican, who established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And I still like Ike.
– Jonathan M., Pennsylvania
- I am a retired FAA Radar technician. I first came to Alaska in 1957 when the company I was working for sent me on a one-year asignment. I really didn’t want to come, but I let them talk me into it with a promotion and financial incentives. Before that year was over, I decided that “Alaska is the place for me,” as I told my mother in a letter she saved and reminded me of later. I liked it the way it was when I got here, and I’d like to keep it as close to that – wild, natural, and unspoiled – as I can.
– Gerald B., Alaska
- I am a former employee of the US Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago. I worked there as an environmental engineer in the Water Management Division for over 30 years. I want to keep Alaska wild because it is important to preserve the remaining wild areas for future generations. We cannot let anyone, government or otherwise, harm the wild areas of Alaska. We must educate people, especially the young, about these wild areas so that they can appreciate what they have and learn to treat these areas with the respect they deserve.
– Ernesto L., Illinois
- I am a filmmaker who doesn’t want to trade priceless wilderness for dollars. One hundred percent of the carbon locked deep beneath the Arctic tundra and the northern Arctic seas will become an oil spill after it has been sucked from the earth. It is time rethink our collective relationship to the land. We need to stop asking the wrong questions. They can only lead to the wrong answers.
– Richard K., New Hampshire