U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

Spring time in the Arctic!  The magnificent snow capped peaks of the Brooks Range Mountain form the back drop of this arctic scene.
101 12th Ave., Room 236
Fairbanks, AK   99701
E-mail: arctic_refuge@fws.gov
Phone Number: 907-456-0250 and 800-362-4546
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Arctic Refuge encompasses coastal tundra and mountains in northeast Alaska.
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Continued . . .

The article's authors, National Park Service planner George Collins and biologist Lowell Sumner, recruited Wilderness Society President Olaus Murie and his wife Margaret into an effort to permanently protect the area. They were joined by many of the era's prominent conservationists, including scientists Starker Leopold, Frank F. Darling, Sigurd Olson, Stewart Brandborg, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, and Wilderness Act author Howard Zahniser. These activists were joined by thousands of other conservationists. Their hard-fought campaign led to establishment of the original Arctic National Wildlife Range in 1960. These visionaries saw the Range as a rare repository of large-scale ecological and evolutionary processes--a place in which all indigenous life-forms could prosper. Refuge founders also extolled the area as a place for more than wildlife and scientific values. Through their efforts, the Refuge was originally established "For the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values... ." In 1980 the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act renamed "Range" to "Refuge," increased the total area of the Refuge to nineteen million acres, designated a large portion as Wilderness, expanded the purposes, authorized Congress to consider a portion of the coastal plain for oil and gas development, and designated three Wild Rivers.

Today, the Arctic Refuge continues to exemplify the legal definition of wilderness--an area "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man."

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