176 pages, 206 colour photos, colour maps
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is America's Serengeti, comprising 19.8 million acres of land in the northeast corner of Alaska and adjoining Ivvavik and Vuntui National Parks in the Yukon Territory in Canada. Photographer Subhankar Banerjee, in collaboration with six essayists, presents a portrayal of a unique landscape made up of equal parts beauty and hazard. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last intact ecosystems on earth, is being impacted by forces that may change its existence forever: global warming and the encroachment of modern society through the potential for oil drilling.
Jimmy Carter, George Schaller, and Bill Meadows narrate the story with essays that delve into the history of the Refuge, the political battles – past and present – and the fragility of the ecosystem. Wildlife biologist Fran Mauer writes of the areas geological and geographical uniqueness while Debbie Miller describes the cultures of the Inupiat Eskimos and the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians. David Allen Sibley explores the prolific bird life and migrations at the refuge with an eye toward the delicately balanced ecology of the region. Peter Matthiessen, reflecting on his journey through the Refuge with Banerjee, passionately defends the need to preserve these lands and the people and the wildlife they shelter.
"[...] Through this book, Banerjee wanted to show why this area should be forever set aside and left undeveloped. He succeeded. This book is particularly recommended to those who aren't aware of or don't understand the reasons to oppose the drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But even if you are well versed in the debate this book will still take you on a breathtaking journey through this special place."
– Grant McCreary (15-04-2008), read the full review at The Birder's Library
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