The Last Great Wilderness
Located in the far northeast corner of Alaska is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This area consists of over 19 million acres of protected land and is home to a harsh climate and pure wildlife. The refuge is more diverse than any other plot of National land and is considered by many to be the last great wilderness. This area has been largely untouched by oil companies but over the past thirty years, there has been a growing debate of whether or not to drill for oil inside of the refuge. Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil drilling would diminish the landscape and destroy the wildlife.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is distinct from any other protected area of the Arctic Circle because it supports such a large variety of plant and animal life. The refuge is home to six diverse ecosystems that stretch for over 200 miles. The coastal plains region stretches south from Alaska’s Northern coast to the foothills of the Brooke Range. The terrain in the coastal plains region is very hilly with scattered lakes and small rivers. The section of the refuge located south of the coastal plains is dominated by the Brooks Range whose mountain peaks rise up to 9,000 feet. The climate in this region is harsh and there is no significant population of trees, only low lying shrubs and other vegetation. In the Southern section of the refuge, the forest becomes increasingly denser and the wetlands in this section provide an essential breeding ground for many migratory birds
After President Roosevelt established the first Wildlife National Refuge on Pelican Island, President Howard Taft kept the ball rolling and established six national wildlife refuges along the coast of Alaska from 1903 to 1913. These areas were designated for protecting wildlife and its environment. Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s debates were beginning to arise between environmentalist and national security interest (petroleum)....