Michael Penn photography











ANWAR Debate

As the national government struggles with the decision to open oil exploration in this fragile wildlife area, the local natives are also struggling with the implications. One side wants it opened to drilling for the jobs and money that will change and improve their lives. The other side, whose livelihood depends on the caribou herds that migrate through the area, are opposed. Ironically, the amount of oil that is in reserve would support the entire United States for only six days.

Save the Caribou!

Edward Sam of Arctic Village listens to speeches in the Arctic Village community center in front of a Gwich'in banner.

Trisha Gilbert, 14, and her brother, Galen, 13, hang out in front of the Arctic Village community center after dancing with the Vashraii K'oo Neetsaii Gwich'in Dancers during opening ceremonies of Gwich'in Gather 2001.


Man with harpoon

Kaktovik whaling captain Charlie Brower displays the harpoon he uses when his village goes after its quota of three bowhead whales in the fall. Kaktovik is positioned along the Beaufort Sea and is within the northern boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Hiker David Woods watches a small herd of caribou in Caribou Pass in the northeast corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Caribou Herd

Wildlife Refuge

Adventure tourism guide Kristian Sieling, left, Karen Pytka and David Woods use a map to see where they are in the foothills of the Brooks Range overlooking the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

This aerial shows the footprint of the test well drilled in the mid-1980's on land owned by the Kaktovik Native village corporation within the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The results have been kept confidential. The well is 14 miles east of Kaktovik and the melting the Beaufort Sea is at the top of the picture.

Aerial of test well

Prudhoe pipelines

Oil production pipes cross the tundra at the Alpine facility operated by Phillips Alaska on the western side of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.

Oil well heads and other oil production buildings spread over the coastal plain in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.

Prudhoe Bay area