• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The world is filled with many natural wonders, and one of these marvels is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

Extracts from this document...


The world is filled with many natural wonders, and one of these marvels is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Its 19.6 million acres comprise some of the last truly undisturbed wilderness, and the area has even been called the crown jewel of America's refuge system. This refuge is composed of a far-reaching stretch of tundra covered with marshes and lagoons and intertwined with rivers spectacularly positioned among the foothills of the snowcapped Brooks Mountain Range and the sparkling waters of the Beaufort Sea, presenting an awe-inspiring spectacle (Defenders of Wildlife, 2001a). It was because of this beauty that ANWR was set-aside as government land. Originally, the North Slope of Alaska was only used for military purposes, and the public was not allowed on any of its 48.8 million acres during World War II. But in 1952-1953, some government scientists decided that this area of Alaska should become a conservation area. So, Fred Seaton, the Secretary of the Interior, made 8.9 million acres of the North Slope into the "Arctic National Wildlife Range" to protect it. A lot of oil was found throughout the North Slope in the following years, so many wanted to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Range. ...read more.


Drilling would cause great harm to the animals that rely on the Coastal Plain of ANWR. Additionally, the 135 species of birds that nest and feed in the 1002 Area would be affected. Many of the birds would lose critical habitat, causing population declines for already small populations. Also, the oil fields would attract predators, further lowering their numbers (Audubon, 2002). Other studies around the other Alaskan oil fields have shown tundra swans to nest over 650 feet from the roads (Gibbs, 2001). Many of the other migratory birds are also sensitive to disturbances, and oil production in ANWR would interrupt migration patterns that have been occurring for many years (Alaska Wilderness League 2003b). The migratory species would carry the effects with them throughout the world (UNEP, 2001). Caribou are also sensitive to disturbances. Caribou with young stay at least 2.5 miles away from roads (Gibbs, 2001). So, the caribou would be pushed into the foothills of the Brooks Range, an area with more predators (Ecological Society of America, 2002). A computer model estimated that calf survival would be reduced about 14 percent by oil production in ANWR (Gibbs, 2001). And, the U.S. ...read more.


The Department of the Interior has estimated that "there is only a one-in-five chance of finding any economically recoverable oil in the refuge" (Roth, 1995). It is not worth ruining a pristine wilderness supporting many animals for very little oil that may not even be "economically recoverable." Not only is there little oil under the Coastal Plain, it is also found in only small accumulations rather than one large oil field (like Prudhoe Bay). So, there would have to be more development areas, increasing the effect on the wildlife and environment (Ecological Society of America, 2002). Overall, the drilling would cause a lot of damage. A pristine wilderness would be turned into a noisy, polluted, developed area. Millions of species of animals would be harmed. They would no longer be able to use the Coastal Plain to feed, mate, nest, and hunt. They would be forced onto marginal lands, and their numbers would be negatively affected (Alaska Wilderness League 2003b; Gibbs, 2001; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2000b). And, the drilling could cause many environmental problems, including global warming, smog, and acid rain (Indigenous Environmental Network, 2001). Plus, the drilling would not even solve the energy problems in the U.S. So, drilling in ANWR should be prevented! 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. The Development of the Travel and Tourism Industry After World War II

    free public money, so that they can then make private profit once they get back on their feet! If the airlines cannot run safely, efficiently, and at a reasonable cost what will they do Public ownership under workers' control is the only solution.

  2. Management of woodland area.

    For doing soil analysis I will take 5 different samples from various places. I will weigh the soil sample then I will place in an oven at a 100oC temperature and I will leave it in the oven for a day for the water to be removed which in the soil (water evaporates).

  1. Why, despite its relevance in today's world, is management development so problematical in its ...

    Mentoring relationships generally occur on an informal basis in the hospitality industry. This is typified by the general manager who takes a junior manager or supervisor under his protective wing and grooms him for greater responsibility. The relationship is based on an unspoken agreement and is subject to the availability

  2. PLANNING PERMISSION/POLICY:: Briggs & Mortar have commissioned Spencer Property to carry out a local ...

    In doing so, the approach adopted should be sufficiently flexible to allow solutions to remain sensitive to local circumstances. * Achieving good design is fundamental to the enhancement of the built environment and is an important means of improving the overall attractiveness of the area.

  1. Sustainability and Wilderness Environments

    Wilderness regions that are not designated protected areas such as national parks are sometimes more vulnerable to increasing pressures. In Southern Utah there is no national park but the Democrats passed the Wilderness Act in the 1960s. This stated it would be protected for the permanent good of the whole

  2. Explain how technology and affluence have made wilderness areas more accessible.

    Without the development of technological equipment that we saw in the middle of the 20th century Antarctica would probably still remain unmodified. The hole in the ozone layer lies almost directly over Antarctica. It has not been created locally but by the release of CFC's into the atmosphere, mostly by MEDCs and this is melting the ice.

  1. A report concerning new business development in the local area, which is the Paddington ...

    The main interests of the council are the thoughts of the residents, whether they will be satisfied with the ideas or not has a major impact on the final decision on what the developers are allowed to do. The Westminster Council seeks to improve one of the life indicators which

  2. Why might the survival of wilderness regions depend upon international cooperation and agreement

    The Centre for Conservation and Government (CCG) is working with governments in both donor and developing nations and with international institutions to mobilize greater support. Large-scale infrastructure investments-such as roads, dams, and pipelines-can threaten biodiversity and frequently fail to provide promised development bene?ts.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work