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series: America's Wildest Refuge
air date: 8/03/13 4:00 AM
Tucked into a remote corner of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a place where wilderness is experienced on an epic scale. From forested lowlands in the south to the towering mountains of the Brooks Range and north to the coastal plains, this is where we can go back in time to see how the earth was before modern civilization. With sweeping views of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, its wildlife, and interviews with those that know it best, Alaska: America's Wildest Refuge is an ecological and historical portrait of this corner of Alaska. Meet the key figures that first identified this area as worthy of protection and worked to preserve it through the National Wildlife Refuge System. Meet Alaskan Native residents that live near the refuge and rely on it to maintain their ancient subsistence way of life. Meet some of the refuge's wildest residents, including musk ox, caribou, and bears, and the scientists studying them. Filmed in stunning high definition, Alaska: America's Wildest Refuge is an ecological and historical portrait of this distant corner of Alaska. Establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on December 6, 1960 was a milestone in conservation history. In response to concerns about rapid changes to our environment in the post war era, Americans rose to the challenge to preserve special areas including the Arctic Refuge. Here was the opportunity to protect entire ecosystems unfettered by the influence of humans. Later with the passage of the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act in 1980, the original range doubled its size - approximately the size of the state of South Carolina - and became the refuge we know today.
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