Arctic Sanctuary: A Gift for Future Generations
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest and most ecologically diverse wilderness area in the United States, spanning more than 19 million acres unencumbered by human interference, and still driven by ancient evolutionary energies. Often considered the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is also rich in untouched natural resources. With escalating demand for domestic oil sources, clean water shortages worldwide and the advent of new arctic waterways opening due to climate warming, it is becoming more and more vulnerable to exploitation. During the last few decades, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been the subject of heated congressional debates met with pleas of compassion from environmental and wildlife advocates who have battled for its preservation. Sought by those who see its financial potential, it has narrowly evaded would-be exploitation.
When wilderness photographer Jeff Jones and his wife Laurie Hoyle accepted an invitation to go fishing on the northern slope of Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range in 1982, they could not have anticipated that the adventure would inspire a project of monumental scope culminating nearly three decades later in the publication a book and major exhibition of photographs that would coincide with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s nationwide celebration of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s 50th anniversary. Awestruck by its pristine wildness, Jones vowed to do whatever he could to raise awareness about the Refuge to encourage its continued protection. Jones’ new book, Arctic Sanctuary: Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge achieves just that. The voluminous collection of landscape photographs is a pictorial odyssey that pays homage to the diversity and raw beauty inherent in the Refuge.
Despite the apolitical intentions behind Jones’ epic depiction of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, its abundant natural resources, namely oil, has sparked heated arguments that transcend political affiliation and land squarely on economics. Both sides of the oil debate in Alaska have garnered impassioned support. The fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge rests in the hands of congressional lawmakers and their constituents as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launches a national Celebration to commemorate its 50th Anniversary…