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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 disaster.

Copyright April 21, 2004 Floyd L. Davidson


Links to other web images similar to the above picture.
arcticcircle.uconn.edu
magma.nationalgeographic.com

When this article was orignally posted in April 2004 the list of links included three other images, which unfortunately are no longer available at the original URLs. I've retrieved them from archives and am making two of them available as links. The third one is significantly different (and dramatic), so I've decided to add it as part of the article, below.
Originally from www.peer.org Originally from www.tc.unm.edu

One image that is a little different than the others. This picture was originally available at the www.alaskacoalition.org

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Contact by email: Floyd L. Davidson

Created: April 21, 2004

Last modified: Thu Apr 9 04:45:22 AKDT 2015