At ANWR: In Search of Caribou

The World

The issue of oil drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska will be decided upon next summer, and this possibility hasn’t yet generated much public debate. But efforts to open another nearby tract of federal land to development have been the subject of heated battles for years. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge terrain hugs the Arctic Ocean and the Canadian border. Much of it is officially designated as wilderness. But a slice of the refuge’s coastal plain was long ago left without such protection, because it harbors significant oil deposits. For years, oil interests have tried to open it to exploration, and every time preservationists have beaten them back. Earlier this year, Living on Earth’s Peter Thomson traveled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for a first-hand look at the place and the people, and the caribou, at the center of the long-running debate.

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