Last week, I headed up to Alaska as part of a Give a Shot project to shoot for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. I traveled with a couple colleagues and joined forces with a few other filmmakers and writers to document the land, wildlife and communities that will be impacted by a proposed mine. The mine would be located north of Haines just above the Klehini River, a major tributary to the Chilkat River. The construction of and pollution from the mine will undoubtedly damage the land and wildlife in the area, with potentially irreparable and catastrophic results. The stunning Chilkat Valley is home to abundant salmon, bald eagles, bear and moose, and to the indigenous communities who have lived off the land for thousands of years. The issue of this mine development (and others) is large and complex and I won't get into the nuances here but after seeing the beauty of this area, the thought of losing it brought me to tears on multiple occasions during the trip.
Unfortunately, as one of the writers I was traveling with correctly assessed, if this mine is defeated, another one will pop up elsewhere in the world in its place because the demand is still there. Us humans consume far more than our poor planet can provide sustainably. So I ask everyone reading this to please try hard to be a more conscious consumer. Only buy what you need. Keep your purchases longer. Fix them instead of tossing them. Buy from companies that source and manufacture responsibly even if it costs more. Vote with your dollars.
I want my daughter to still have some wild places to roam in this country, teeming with wildlife, unmarred by human hands. Might be wishful thinking, but I'll keep working everyday to make that a reality.