The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is currently under the threat of being damaged by energy development. We’ve long supported protecting and conserving wild places, which is why we’re proud to share that The North Face athlete Kit DesLauriers has joined the Alaska Wilderness League board of directors, taking on an important role in protecting this vast wilderness. It’s evidence of her passion and commitment as a champion of conservation. In this new role, she will act as an ambassador for this iconic wilderness, advocating before policy-makers, in the media, and within the outdoor community.
As a founding member of the Conservation Alliance and a partner of the Alaska Wilderness League (AWL), we’re excited for Kit and her new role. The North Face has worked closely with AWL on this issue for years, funding their conservation efforts and helping educate, including in 2016, when we championed a petition to give the Arctic Refuge and its Coastal Plain increased protection and made a donation to AWL for each petition signed.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is considered by many to be America’s last wild frontier. Iconic for explorers everywhere, this land is home to the Gwich’in people who have lived in the region and depended on the Porcupine caribou herd for generations. This fragile landscape is one of the first areas to feel the effects of climate change and extractive industry. It’s an icon for explorers everywhere.
Kit’s connection to the Arctic Refuge is deep. In 2010, Kit led a team of The North Face athletes to explore the Arctic Refuge for the first time. Since then, Kit has made five trips deep into the Arctic Refuge, and has fallen in love with the epic, wild landscape. Her role on the AWL board will naturally build on the advocacy work she’s already done for the region. She was our voice for the #WeAreTheArctic project in 2016, and in 2015 she was honored as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for her merging of science and adventure in the American Arctic.
“As the last greatest pure wilderness in our nation, the Arctic Refuge offers us humans an undisturbed opportunity for solace, adventure, science, and subsistence,” explains Kit DesLauriers. “It’s fulfilling to take the next step supporting the Refuge by joining the board for the only national environmental group focused solely on protecting wild Alaska and bringing that voice to Washington, D.C. and beyond.”
Kit’s leadership in the outdoors and as a climate advocate inspires us every day, and we are incredibly proud to support her leadership role with the Alaska Wilderness League as she continues advocating for America’s last wild frontier.