It's a refuge

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003


Hoffman needs to think again. In her letter (Empire, Feb. 19) she accused Mr. Elton of trying to turn all Alaska into a park. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is already a park, and that is what Sen. Elton was protecting in his dissenting vote. I find it interesting how passionately so many of these pro-oil people push for the opening of ANWR, and it seems that the use of the achronym has distanced us from the actual intent of the refuge. It was set up as a wildlife refuge - a refuge from the developers that insist on encroaching on it now. Why don't we open Yellowstone for development, or the Tetons? Because there is a population center there. Their big draw is tourism and campers, but when the only victims of the oil developers are wildlife, by all means, let's ignore the purpose of the land and go barging in there for the almighty oily buck! Those of us trying to protect the refuge are not trying to turn the entire state into a park, only to keep the parks that are already set up in it. Only in Alaska do you find people, usually imports from down South, ready to sacrifice our wild places for oil. Perhaps that's because they think we have an unlimited supply of them here. I do not want to see Alaska turned into another California.

Rayda L. Renshaw


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