WHERE MOUNTAINS ARE NAMELESS: Passion and Politics in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Jonathan Waterman, Author . Norton $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-393-05219-0

There's little new in this overview of the current state of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) by Alaska adventurer Waterman (Arctic Crossing ), who considers what remains of Alaska's pristine northern wilderness: fragile land is threatened, caribou herds are dwindling and oil companies are despoiling whatever they touch. Others have imparted impassioned observations of this kind, most recently Rick Bass in Caribou Crossing . Still, two qualities recommend this memorable depiction of a barren land's stark and precarious beauty. The first is the author's easy familiarity with the region, which he has trekked and paddled through for 20 years, bearing explicit witness to the destructive effects of oil exploration outside the ANWR. The second is Waterman's sense of history: laced through the reflective account of his travels is an engaging minibiography of the pioneering conservationist couple Olaus and Mardy Murie, legendary figures in the fight for the preservation of Alaskan wilderness. Olaus Murie first explored Alaska in 1914; he and Mardy first championed a wildlife refuge in the Eisenhower era; Mardy died in 2003, at age 101, knowing that legislation to open ANWR to petroleum had—one more time—been defeated. Maps and illus. not seen by PW . (May)

FYI: Drilling in ANWR is still a live issue, as the Senate voted narrowly in March to include such drilling in the as-yet-unapproved federal budget.

Reviewed on: 04/04/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-393-33017-5
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