Anchorage Daily News
COMPASS: Other points of view

If the BP Gulf of Mexico and Exxon Valdez oil spills teach us anything, it’s that precious ecosystems can be forever damaged by oil.

Half a century ago this week, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve for its “unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values.” Expanded and renamed, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remains the largest and only intact Arctic ecosystem in the United States.

Its ecological values are unparalleled, especially in the coastal plain, the biological heart of the refuge. Like the Statue of Liberty, California’s Giant Sequoias and the Everglades, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge stands as an American icon.

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