Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Infobox_protected_area | name = Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
iucn_category = IV
caption = Map of the
locator_x = 40
locator_y = 140
location = North Slope Borough and Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area,
Barrow, Alaskapop. 3,982
Kaktovik, Alaskapop. 258
area = convert|19049236|acre
established = 1960
governing_body = U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a
National Wildlife Refugein northeastern Alaska. It consists of convert|19049236|acre in the Alaska North Sloperegion.
The move to protect this corner of Alaska began in the early 1950s. National Park Service planner
George Collinsand biologist Lowell Sumnerrecruited Wilderness Society President Olaus Murieand his wife Margaret Murieinto an effort to permanently protect the area. They were joined by thousands of the era's prominent conservationists.
The region first became a federal protected area in 1960 by order of
Fred Andrew Seaton, Secretary of the Interior under U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1980, Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Eight million acres (32,375 km²) of the refuge are designated as Wilderness Area. The 1980 expansion of the refuge designated 1.5 million acres (6,070 km²) of the coastal plain as the
1002 areaand mandated studies of the natural resources of this area, especially petroleum. Congressional authorization is required before oil drillingmay proceed in this area. The remaining 10.1 million acres (40,873 km²) of the refuge are designated as "Minimal Management," a category intended to maintain existing natural conditions and resource values. These areas are suitable for wilderness designation, although there are presently no proposals to designate them as wilderness.
There are presently no roads within or leading into the refuge, though there are settlements there. On the northern edge of the refuge is the
Inupiatvillage of Kaktovik pop. 258 [ http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en ] and on the southern boundary the Gwich'insettlement of Arctic Village pop 152 [ http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en ] . A popular wilderness route and historic passage exists between the two villages, traversing the refuge and all its ecosystems from boreal, interior forest to Arctic Ocean coast. Generally, visitors gain access to the land by aircraft, but it is also possible to reach the refuge by boat or by walking (the Dalton Highwaypasses near the western edge of the refuge). In the United States, the geographic location most remote from human trails, roads, or settlements is found here, at the headwaters of the Sheenjek River.
The refuge supports a greater variety of plant and animal life than any other protected area in the
Arctic Circle. A continuum of six different ecozones spans some 200 miles (300 km) north to south.
Along the northern boundary of the refuge,
barrier islands, coastal lagoons, salt marshes, and river deltas provide habitat for migratory waterbirds including sea ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds. Fish such as dolly varden and arctic cisco are found in nearshore waters. Coastal lands and sea ice are used by caribou seeking relief from biting insects during summer, and by polar bears hunting seals and giving birth in snow dens during winter.
The Arctic coastal plain stretches southward from the coast to the foothills of the
Brooks Range. This area of rolling hills, small lakes, and north-flowing, braided rivers is dominated by tundra vegetation consisting of low shrubs, sedges, and mosses. Caribou travel to the coastal plain during June and July to give birth and raise their young. Migratory birds and insectsflourish here during the brief Arctic summer. Tens of thousands of snow geese stop here during September to feed before migrating south, and musk oxen live here year-round.
South of the coastal plain, the mountains of the eastern Brooks Range rise to over 9000 feet (3,000 m). This northernmost extension of the
Rocky Mountainsmarks the continental divide, with north-flowing rivers emptying into the Arctic Oceanand south-flowing rivers joining the great Yukon River. The rugged mountains of the Brooks Range are incised by deep river valleys creating a range of elevations and aspects that support a variety of low tundravegetation, dense shrubs, rare groves of poplartrees on the north side and spruceon the south. During summer, peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, and golden eagles build nests on cliffs. Harlequin ducks and red-breasted mergansers are seen on swift-flowing rivers. Dall sheepand wolves are active all year, while grizzly bears and arctic ground squirrels are frequently seen during summer but hibernate in winter.
The southern portion of the Arctic Refuge is within the
taiga(boreal forest) of interior Alaska. Beginning as predominantly treeless tundra with scattered islands of black and white spruce trees, the forest becomes progressively denser as the foothills yield to the expansive flats north of the Yukon River. Frequent forest fires ignited by lightning result in a complex mosaic of birch, aspen, and spruce forests of various ages. Wetlands and south-flowing rivers create openings in the forest canopy. Neotropical migratory birds breed here in spring and summer, attracted by plentiful food and the variety of habitats. Caribou travel here from farther north to spend the winter. Year-round residents of the boreal forest include moose, lynx, marten, wolverines, black and grizzly bears, and wolves.
Each year, thousands of waterfowl and other birds nest and reproduce in areas surrounding Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields and a healthy and increasing caribou herd migrates through these areas to calve and seek respite from annoying pests. Oil field facilities have been located and designed to accommodate wildlife and utilize the least amount of tundra surface.
Arctic Refuge drilling controversy
Because the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is believed to contain a large supply of
crude oil, the question of whether to drill for oil in the 1002 section has been an ongoing political controversy in the United Statessince 1977. [Shogren, Elizabeth. [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5007819 "For 30 Years, a Political Battle Over Oil and ANWR."] " All Things Considered". NPR. 10 Nov. 2005.]
Alaska Wilderness League
Arctic Refuge drilling controversy
National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska
Wise Use Movement
* [http://arctic.fws.gov/index.htm Official website]
* [http://arctic.360cities.net 360 panoramas of the ANWR] documenting the changing climate, by Dr. Matthew Nolan, Professor, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
* [http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/search.tkl?q=arctic+national+&search_crit=fulltext&search=Search&date1=Anytime&date2=Anytime&type=form Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — Upper Peter Lake … Deutsch Wikipedia
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — carte des refuges de l ANWR La Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) est une aire protégée située au nord est de l Alaska aux États Unis d Amérique et gérée par le United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Permettant de préserver l habitat… … Wikipédia en Français
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — Sp Árkties nacionãlinis gamtõs rezervãtas Ap Arctic National Wildlife Refuge L JAV (Aliaska) … Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė
Selawik National Wildlife Refuge — Selawik Flats … Deutsch Wikipedia
Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge — The heart of Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge is a lowland basin of forests and wetlands that forms the floodplain of the meandering Nowitna River. The Refuge s climate is typically marked by light precipitation, mild winds, long, hard winters… … Wikipedia
Merced National Wildlife Refuge — A flock of Sandhill Cranes landing The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,262 acres (41.53 km2) of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to … Wikipedia
Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge — Der Koyukuk River im Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge … Deutsch Wikipedia
Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge — Feuchtgebiet mit Fichtenwald … Deutsch Wikipedia
Delta National Wildlife Refuge — IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area) … Wikipedia
Becharof National Wildlife Refuge — Küstengebirge … Deutsch Wikipedia