No other region of America has seen less human impact than the northeastern corner of Alaska. Here the Brooks Range bulges up near the Arctic Ocean to create a unique combination of habitats, including arctic, subarctic, and alpine ecosystems. Approximately 200 miles by 200 miles, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge stretches down both sides of the Brooks Range here, occupying almost 20 million acres--the size of South Carolina. Peaks reaching 9,000 feet, the highest in the Brooks, look northward across rolling tundra cut by serpentine rivers and dotted with clusters of freshwater lakes. Farther north lie the barrier islands and saltwater lagoons of the Arctic Ocean. Southward the terrain drops from treeless mountains into broad conifer-and hardwood-covered valleys. By Arctic standards, the refuge

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