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offshorebirder posted a topic in World wildlifeThis is an Op-Ed co-authored by the famous biologist + conservationist George Schaller. It concerns the current threat of the Republican majority in the US Congress removing the ban on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain. Schaller recently visited the refuge 50 years after first working there. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/opinion/protect-alaskas-last-great-wilderness-from-oil-drilling.html " Few landscapes remain virtually untrammeled by the growing impact of the planet’s seven and a half billion inhabitants — places where the natural environment is so overwhelmingly intact and truly wild that coming across so much as a boot print is a surprise. It seems unlikely in this day and age, but such areas do still exist. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one such place. Lies and misrepresentations have characterized this Arctic region as a “barren wasteland.” In fact, this is a landscape of surprising beauty and biological diversity: 31,000 square miles of the craggy Brooks Range, valleys of spruce forest and flower-filled tundra extending north to the Arctic Ocean. In this terrain and the adjacent Arctic Ocean, you’ll find roughly 700 kinds of plants and a multitude of different species: 200 bird, 47 mammal and 42 fish species. It’s a place of living grandeur. Those of us who have explored the Arctic refuge treasure seeing grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep and thundering herds of caribou. With awe we have watched golden eagles and flocks of migrating birds from across the globe, many of which nest there in the summer after a winter spent in such faraway places as the Amazon, the coastal wetlands of Patagonia or the Sundarbans mangrove swamps of Bangladesh. "
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