By Roger Kaye
The Arctic nationwide flora and fauna shelter is on the middle of the clash among America’s call for for oil and nature at its such a lot pristine. 3 a long time sooner than the conflict over oil improvement begun, a gaggle of visionary conservationists introduced a arguable crusade to maintain a distant nook of Alaska. Their target was once unprecedented—to defend a complete atmosphere for destiny generations. between those conservationists have been Olaus and Margaret Murie, who grew to become icons of the wasteland movement.Last nice desert chronicles their struggle and that in their compatriots, tracing the transformation of this little-known expanse of mountains, woodland, and tundra right into a symbolic panorama embodying the beliefs and aspirations that ended in passage of the wasteland Act in 1964.
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Extra info for Last great wilderness: the campaign to establish the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Particularly those of his friends Marshall, Leopold, and Murie. The opportunities he saw in northeast Alaska reflect their influence. Collins’s son, ecologist Joshua Collins, believes the ultimate park values his father sought in northeast Alaska were best expressed in a treatise his father wrote describing “our heritage from our earliest ancestry”: We go to the wildlands to experience the power and beauty of elemental scenes and forces that bring us physical pleasure and spiritual stimulation.
Primeval landscapes were now being described both as surviving relics of a disappearing natural world and as touchstones to man’s distant past. In contrast to the cultural heritage connotations of the word primitive, with its implications for re-enacting the experience of the fi rst Euro-Americans, primeval related more to humankind’s evolutionary heritage. It echoed the human species’ origin as creatures of the wild and conveyed the notion that in untouched landscapes, one might experience and respond to the natural world much as one’s more distant ancestors had.
Thus, association with the primeval concept contributed a more widely appreciated ethical dimension to the preservation effort. 38 Concurrent with the fi rst half of the Arctic campaign, this pivotal confl ict involved many of the same proponents and organizations, 38 Chapter 2 whose similar rhetorical associations and political strategies were used to gain support for the Arctic proposal. ” Collins and Sumner had wasted no time in providing—or leaking—the in-house document to supporters. In a letter to Interior Secretary Chapman only a few weeks later, Collins’s close friend, Sierra Club secretary Richard Leonard, announced the club’s endorsement of the report’s recommendations.