I did not take the picture above, I stole it from another web
site. I believe it is the famous image taken in the mid-1970's
by Dr. Ken Whitten, who headed up the biologists for the USFWS
studying caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There
are several other images, that are almost identical, available
on the web. They are all taken from roof tops in Kaktovik, on
Barter Island in the Beafort Sea on the northern edge of ANWR.
At the point where this image was taken, the mountains are
about 40 miles south of the coast. Just a few miles to the
west, that narrows down to only 15 miles, or less than half the
distance shown here.
The area where oil is predicted to most likely be found, is
approximately the right center of this image, and on towards
the western edge of the refuge. Earlier predictions were that
it would be directly south, and then towards the east. In
fact, if any oil is found it can be fully expected that the
entire area from east to west will be seriously explored and
drilled. That would lead to a network of roads and pipelines
through the center of the image above.
Caribou cows that are pregnant or with newborn calves do not
cross roads, and do not approach oil rigs or infrastructure.
The effect would be to put a fence between the foothills and
the ocean beaches, and between the western end of the coastal
plain and the eastern end. All of those areas are absolutely
essential for the Porcupine Caribou Herd. It would be a