jayme dittmar@jaymedittmar

film l dogmushing l Ak basecamp


Once again we are considering defacing a landscape that defines wilderness and our North American sense of place. While technology has progressed far from oil extraction in the past 20 years, the Arctic is changing and things are more fragile than ever. Warmer temperatures have increased risks in all realms.
As a result of human control, natural planetary boundaries are now being breached and we are threatening the critical life systems on which we depend.
Where's the emergency? Is the economy of extraction in such peril in this country that warrants jeopardizing one of our most prized wildest places. Intrinsic, genetic, social, scientific, educational, recreational, and aesthetic values of places exist outside the realm of economics monetary valuation. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge holds such value for the United States and beyond.
Today is the last day for public comment on coastal plain oil and gas leasing on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Not certain what to write? I pulled this from a post of @sarahbtingey with @alpacka_raft leading the charge in the outdoor industry along with @patagonia and @protectourwinters in fighting for ANWR.
The most effective comments include specific details regarding issues or concerns and provide rationale for the concern or suggestion. Ideas for effective scoping comments include: --What are your specific concerns about a resource – and why?
-- Do you know of any geographic areas of concern for a specific resource – and why?
-- Do you have any ideas for alternatives to analyze?
-- Give us ideas for mitigation measures or new technologies to consider in an alternative.
--Let us know about important information available in your community.

Submit comments here:


I’ve been a runner as long as I can remember. Some days its all you can think about, all you really want to do, ever, for the rest of your life. And then there are the days you need your socks and dog to get you out the door. #freetheendorphins #thisdaystyle


A few days ago we reached the end of our 85 + mile migration following Deer 139 through some of the most challenging terrain of Wyoming. I would describe the women I had the fortune tackling this traverse with as brilliant, willing, strong, but those words wouldn’t come close to their actual description so I will just leave them ineffable. Packs breaching with avalanche gear, rope, ice axes, packrafts, film equipment (and extra rounds of toilet paper with those who still had giardia) we set out with the intention of understanding something seemingly simple. Why does one deer cross raging rivers, ascend mountain passes and basically blow past most of the other mule deer in this area to reach her summer range. Of course there are theories on human development, climate change, generational legacy, but we wanted to see if for ourselves. In this pursuit our bodies became thinner, rougher, but stronger and more capable.
We crossed rivers half naked with skis on our backs lusting for the snowy hillsides in the distance. We become empowered by our self-maintenance. We sacrificed our gear, bodies, independent pace for each other…and my god we were somehow empowered by that extreme altruism as well.
We found ourselves hilarious, constantly laughing about things that probably wouldn’t be funny anywhere else.
In replacing our human obsession of time with spaces, we started to finally see our footprint and acknowledge our responsibility.
Sometimes we decided we were going to do it better than her. Each time we were quickly greeted with humility. “Step aside,” Deer 139 seemed to constantly say. “Acknowledge that there are intelligences and ways of being that you haven’t even started to comprehend.” As with most truth-seeking journeys, in the end we were left with more questions than answers. I think one of our most overbearing - how do you balance fidelity to your path while remaining adaptable? For now, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous search for meaning, and just keep saying thank you, sincerely, Deer 139, and to all of our believers, sponsors and supporters for making it possible to tell this story.


Sure there's all this migration ecology, vegetation analysis and human development to consider, but times like this I swear Deer 139, at the risk of anthropomorphizing you and therefore guaranteeing a position on the shit list of @s_dwindle, you choose your route for the view.


Last spring Deer 139 completed her migratory journey, crossing seven flooded rivers, two mountain passes, and through extreme snow depths, to reach her summer range in western Wyoming. She was carrying 4% body fat, two fetuses and survived one of the most grueling migratory routes of any land mammal. She just started this annual journey again yesterday, but this time an all female team of scientists, athletes and storytellers will be hot in pursuit. This route that travels deep into the heart of the Wyoming range, across the Piney and Cottonwood Creeks, through the Greys River, into Wolfley Canyon and finally across the west side of the Salt River Range, will be the first known human traverse.

One of my first conversations with wildlife biologist @s_dwindle was her oration on the finer aesthetic features and overall bad assity of the mule deer. This lead to six months of conference calls, preparation and a film grant from @natgeo. Our team begins tomorrow to document the migratory route of Deer 139 to highlight the importance of connected migration corridors within the human dominated landscapes of the west. If I’m still not convinced of this doe's capability, I’m sure I’m soon to be humbled. Thank you for all of your project support @natgeo @wyomingpublicradio @ke10hofen @haub.school @muleyfanaticfoundation @migrationinitiative @alpacka_raft @stiomountain @alpinestartfoods @coalitionsnow @zealoptics @bigagnes_ @yostmarkbackcountrytours


"All men have stars, but they are not the same things for all people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth… But you alone - have the stars as no one else has them…” ~The Little Prince


Our memories are young in this ancient oasis, so naturally we act like inattentive impatient juveniles. I live here because it is easier for me to listen. It is readily apparent that there is no boundary between us and this living breathing blue-swirled sphere we call home. And in that silence of space that entwines the Earth, its direction is not devoid but latent, pregnant, mystic and melodic. I might go as far as to agree with Alan Watts in that each of us may be “that particular focal point through which the entire universe is singing at this moment.” So find your voice. Come alive. And have confidence in doing so, that there may yet be other chant beyond or below, but in harmony with you, more universal. Happy Earth Day from Ak.


Women mush too. And when she isn't making ridiculous faces at me, Julie even makes it look good. #susanbutcherbabe


So the concept of home seems to be spinning in my generation. There's a #tinyhouse and #vanlife movement (both which I've been attracted to for a size upgrade). But want to contribute another alternative. This is a dog sled - also transforms into a bed complete with comforter, table, closet, recliner, fridge, media storage unit or treadmill. And those fluffy piles in front serve as transportation, heating system and entertainment. Slightly less bohemian, glorious and instagram sexy as the other two, but I swear it's still all here. #mushinglife


Spring bones. Defend the Sacred Ak. #defendthesacred


In a remote Kayapo village deep in the Amazon rainforest, the mining industry, modern world and all of its trappings are coming her way. In this portrait session last fall I wanted to shield her from everything she would grow up to - there was too much fragility in her that designs and connects us all. But then again, ha, I also realized she could probably grow into handling all that better than most of us ever could. Who was I to take that away from the universe? Happy International Women's Day. #internationalwomensday


Nat Geo Explorer @earthheiress positions a flower in memory of a deceased vaquita. This is what the anthropocene looks like when dedicated citizens, scientists, diplomats, artists and children gather to mourn for a species other than our own.

The root of this extinction lies in the stories we have been telling ourselves about progress. The only way to begin to unravel this myth is for us to become better storytellers.
I remain human, unashamed, but entirely responsible. Honored to shoot and represent @wildfoundation for this event with @vancegmartin @earthheiress @cttobin and @tashka_yawanawa


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