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Have Your Say: Help Protect Nearly 20 Million Acres Around Alaska's Brooks Range

Patagonia's “Alaska Needs You” campaign targets protections for public land and cultural rights.

Have Your Say: Help Protect Nearly 20 Million Acres Around Alaska's Brooks Range

At stake is nearly 20 million acres of pristine wilderness that, if opened to mining or drilling, would have major impacts on both indigenous cultural heritage and American public lands. (Photo courtesy Patagonia/Austin Siadak)

Rather than ask consumers to buy Patagonia gear this holiday season, the outdoors gear manufacturer and retailer is asking supporters to speak up in support of protecting three at-risk areas in northern Alaska: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the National Petroleum Reserve-Area, and the Brooks Range, by way of its "Alaska Needs You" campaign.

“The Arctic Refuge is the common grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd who we’ve had a spiritual and cultural connection to since time immemorial,” Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich-in Steering Committee says in a video released to spread the word (see below). "That is a lot of destruction to our land, to our people, to our food security, and to our ways of life."

At stake is nearly 20 million acres of pristine wilderness that, if opened to mining or drilling, would have major impacts on both indigenous cultural heritage and American public lands. If Ambler Road is opened, as the mining companies are seeking, 211 new miles of road would “cut through one of the largest connected park landscapes in the country, pollute nearly 3,000 rivers and streams, disrupt the migration corridor of one of Earth’s largest caribou herds and threaten key hunting grounds and water sources vital to local Native communities.”

patagoniaalaskaneedsyou-2
Rather than ask consumers to buy Patagonia gear this holiday season, the outdoors gear manufacturer and retailer is asking supporters to speak up in support of protecting three at-risk areas in northern Alaska: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the National Petroleum Reserve-Area, and the Brooks Range. (Graphic courtesy Patagonia)

“The Biden Administration could further protect America’s Arctic and as a result, play an outsized role in saving our planet,” Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert said in a press release. “The opportunity to enshrine protections for the Refuge, Reserve and Range is the result of a steadfast commitment from a diverse and tireless coalition comprised of outdoor recreationalists, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, activists, scientists and key government leaders. Your voice makes a difference and I hope you will submit two comments today. One to protect caribou, wolverines, bears, birds and more on 13 million acres of public land in the Western Arctic, and a second to stop a speculative road that would be disastrous for local villages and one of the largest, undeveloped parks on the planet.”

Patagonia has a long history of supporting causes over profits, including over three decades of support for environmental non-profit organizations in Alaska. The newly established Holdfast Collective, which receives all profits not reinvested back into Patagonia, has donated over $4 million to various climate and conservation priorities in Alaska this year alone.

In an additional environmentally friendly move, Patagonia announced the release of its latest line of Black Hole Duffel bags, which now use 100% recycled thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Patagonia uses TPU “waste” purchased direct from the factories to recycle it into all Black Hole Duffels.

But for today, all Patagonia wants for Christmas is support for these protections. 

“Never forget: The American citizens have a say in the management of the American public lands,” public lands journalist Hal Herring says in the video. “We’re talking about some of the most intact natural landscapes left on the planet.”

A landscape photo of a foggy river exiting a lake at dawn, beneath large mountains.
“Never forget: The American citizens have a say in the management of the American public lands,” public lands journalist Hal Herring says in the video. “We’re talking about some of the most intact natural landscapes left on the planet.” (Photo courtesy Patagonia/Florian Schultz)

The Reserve comment period will close December 7 and the Range comment period closes December 22 (the comment period to protect the Refuge ended November 7.) To date, the activist brand touts driving over 50,000 comments from the Patagonia community alone.


To make a comment, visit https://www.patagonia.com/protect-alaska-public-lands/.

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