01 Jul Meeting Friends
One of the most rewarding things for us in running Arctic Treks is all the wonderful people we get to meet and share the arctic with. This summer provided a highlight for us as we got to do a Conservation Lands Foundation custom trip to the Teshekpuk Lake area with one of our heroes, former Sec. of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. During his tenure under President Clinton, Sec. Babbitt expanded the Teshekpuk Lakes Special Area to protect more than a half-million acres of this bird and wildlife-rich area from oil development, only to see that protection undone by Pres. Bush and then just this winter be restored and expanded even more by BLM’s new NPRA comprehensive management plan after a huge nation-wide effort by conservationists to protect this exceptional place.
This was our first trip to this almost surreal landscape, as you fly north from the Brooks Range, the land broadens to sweeping green expanses dotted with uncountable lakes and ponds, finally becoming more water than land. Unexpected sand dunes from an ancient drained lake bed provided a dry place to camp, and the howling winds that arrived the next day kept the throngs of mosquitoes at bay as we watched hundreds of caribou pass by like a vision from that ancient past. Great joy, and a great affirmation of why we all work so hard to protect these wild places!