Help get Obama and congress to pass the legislation we need to keep millions of acres of wilderness in Alaska safe from oil and gas development by designating the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge protected land.
I am partnering with The Alaska Wilderness League, Patagonia and Care2 to raise awareness through photography and social media to spread this petition before it's too late!
The Arctic Refuge is the ancestral land and home to Gwich’in and Inupiat villages and the habitat and breeding ground for caribou, polar bears, wolves, muskox, and migratory birds. It is also the most beautiful, wild place I have ever been lucky enough to see and photograph.
1. Baby Polar Bears in the USA. Polar bear cubs play in Kaktovik, Alaska, an Inupiat native village located within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) along the Beaufort Sea. For the Inupiat and Gwich’in communities in the region, protecting the animals they share their home with (like these little guys) is crucial. As the sea ice continues to vanish due to climate change, polar bears in the Alaskan Arctic that used to spend time hunting seals on the frozen ocean far from shore are now looking for food on land, putting themselves and the local population in danger.
2. Arctic Spring. The Brooks Range spreads over a thousand kilometers through Canada, Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I have seen the harsh beauty of its mountain range by air, flying to and from villages in the Alaskan Arctic while documenting climate change for the past two years. This past spring was the first time I saw the landscape of the Brooks Range by land. Words cannot describe its magic.
3. Wild and Free. The practice of dogs pulling a sled, now known as mushing, has been happening in the Arctic since 2000 BC. It is now the state sport of Alaska and every spring champion dog musher Brent Sass and the incredible sled dog athletes of Wild and Free Kennel head out to a camp in the Northern Brooks Range that is accessible only by dog sled. Together with fellow mushers they spend a month camping, guiding and teaching lucky high school students and visitors to mush. Traveling through this amazing, quiet wilderness by dog team felt like being a part of the landscape itself, frozen in time, and free.
Honored to be selected by The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) as part of the first group of 2015 grantees in the inaugural funding round of the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.
Katie Orlinsky is awarded a grant of $15,000 to complete a photography project exploring climate change and environmental issues in Alaskan communities. Orlinsky is a photographer and cinematographer from New York, she has photographed personal projects, assignments and documentaries all over the world. Orlinsky regularly works for The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, a variety of international magazines and non-profit organizations such as Too Young to Wed, an organization and campaign to end child marriage around the world.
A few weeks ago, I photographed the toughest sled dog race in the world, the Yukon Quest, for National Geographic News. It was a wonderful and wild experience, and it isn't over- This weekend I'll start photographing the other world famous 1,000 mile sled dog race, the Iditarod.