Roger Kaye chronicles the campaign to preserve the area that eventually became the Arctic National Wildlife refuge.
The book, "The Last Great Wilderness: The Campaign to Establish the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," was published by the University of Alaska Press earlier this year. It traces the transformation of the little-known expanse of mountains, forest and tundra into a symbolic landscape embodying the ideals and aspirations that led to passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
"Ultimately, " Kaye writes, "the struggle originated in conflicting views of our role in the larger scheme of things that remain deeply ingrained in American culture and, perhaps more deeply, in the human psyche."
Bill Meadows, president of the Wilderness Society, describes Kaye's work as "an authoritative history, documenting the power of wilderness values and the determination of those who fought to preserve a remarkable place."
"It is an absorbing and timely conservation history of ANWR, " according to George Schaller, vice-president, Wildlife Conservation Society. "Kaye describes the wildlife, scientific, recreational and symbolic values that motivated those of us who worked for its establishment in the 1950's. It reveals why this great and magical wilderness must remain protected and treasured."
Controversy over ANWR's future remains, as it began, emblematic of "the real problem," as Olaus Murie characterized it, "of what the human species is to do with this earth."
Roger Kaye is an affiliate faculty member in northern studies in UAF's College of Liberal Arts, where he teaches courses on environmental psychology and wilderness management.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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