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  Environmental Policy Issues

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Development Issues
(Released August 2001)

 

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  1. Assessing values of Arctic wildlife and habitat subject to potential petroleum development

    McCabe, TR

    Landscape and Urban Planning [LANDSCAPE URBAN PLANN.], vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 33-45, 1994

    The National Wildlife Refuge system of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is predicated on the principle of conserving and perpetuating the natural diversity and abundance of wildlife and wildlands. The prospect of petroleum development on the 1002 area of the 10 000 km super(2) pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a contentious national issue. The FWS assessed the habitat and its constituent wildlife species to determine potential impacts from this development. As part of the assessment effort, research was conducted on the 163 000 member porcupine caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd, its primary predator at calving, brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the vegetation communities on the coastal plain. We found the traditional calving area within the 1002 area had significantly greater forage species availability and nutrient quality than areas peripheral to the 1002 area. Increased post-perinatal, predator-related mortality has been associated with the foothills and mountains adjacent to the 1002 area. Displacement of the calving caribou from the 1002 area would mean a lesser abundance of high quality forage for calving cows, and calves would be subjected to a potentially higher predation risk. These factors could have a negative impact on the population dynamics of the Porcupine herd. If petroleum development were authorized on the 1002 area of ANWR, the challenge for the FWS will be to assure that the dynamics of the tundra ecosystem are adequately understood and to conserve the abundance and diversity of natural wildlife populations and their habitat.

  2. Northern Alaska oil fields and caribou: A commentary

    Cronin, MA; Ballard, WB; Bryan, JD; Pierson, BJ; McKendrick, JD

    Biological Conservation [Biol. Conserv.], vol. 83, no. 2, pp. 195-208, Feb 1998

    We discuss the status of caribou, Rangifer tarandus, herds relative to oil field development in the Prudhoe Bay region of Alaska. The Central Arctic caribou herd, which spends June and July in and around oil fields in the Prudhoe Bay region, has increased since the inception of oil field development and has demographics similar to those of adjacent herds which are not near oil fields. Although oil field development may impact individual caribou through disturbance or impedance of movements, herd-level impacts of the oil fields are not apparent. Caribou populations characteristically fluctuate dramatically, and differentiating human and non-human impacts is difficult or impossible. The herd is the unit of management, and management objectives are being met. The experience in northern Alaska's oil fields indicates resource extraction and wildlife populations can be compatible when managed properly.

  3. Oil versus caribou in the Arctic: The great debate.

    Sheldon, JF

    Polar Record [POLAR REC.], vol. 24, no. 149, pp. 95-100, 1988

    The Alaska, development interests are pitted against conservationists on the question of whether the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge shall be opened to oil exploration. The area in question lies close to Prudhoe Bay's enormous reserves of petroleum and natural gas. It is also the primary calving ground for the Porcupine caribou herd of some 180,000 animals, and the public debate centres on how this herd, that migrates between Alaska and Canada, would be affected. The decision on opening the Arctic coastal plain to development will rest with the US Congress.

  4. The effects of pipelines, roads, and traffic on the movements of caribou, Rangifer tarandus .

    Curatolo, JA; Murphy, SM

    Canadian field-naturalist. Ottawa ON [CAN. FIELD-NAT.], vol. 100, no. 2, pp. 218-224, 1986

    The frequency of caribou, Rangifer tarandus , crossings of roads, pipelines, and pipelines along roads was studied in the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Caribou crossed an elevated pipeline or a road with a frequency similar to the control. It was only where a pipeline paralleled a road with traffic, that crossing frequencies were significantly less than expected (30% versus 66%). It is postulated that vehicles act in a synergistic fashion with a pipeline to produce a negative stimulus that results in decreased crossing frequency. Caribou crossing under elevated pipelines did not select for particular pipe heights within the range studied (152-432 cm). Caribou did select buried sections of pipeline as crossing sites more often than expected.

  5. Activity and Use of Active Gravel Pads and Tundra by Caribou, Rangifer tarandus granti, Within the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Alaska

    Noel, LE; Pollard, RH; Ballard, WB; Cronin, MA

    Canadian Field-Naturalist [Can. Field-Nat.], vol. 112, no. 3, pp. 400-409, Sep 1998

    We used ground observations and time-lapse videography to determine timing, activity, duration of use, and response to disturbance of Caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) in relation to parasitic insect activity on 18 gravel pads and tundra within 1000 m of roads and pads in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Alaska between 27 June and 31 July 1993. We found no differences in distribution of bull dominated, cow/calf dominated, or mixed sex Caribou groups on gravel pads or tundra; but there were differences in Caribou group activities on gravel pads and tundra. Caribou groups ran more often on tundra than on gravel pads. Caribou ran less often when mosquito (Aedes spp.) levels were low and more often when mosquito levels were moderate to high. Average group sizes were larger at high mosquito levels. Caribou were recorded on nine active gravel pads 2534 (42.9%) of 5906 hours that activity was monitored with time-lapse videography. Walking was the predominant activity while on gravel pads followed by standing and running. Caribou were observed standing under elevated production facilities and pipelines, and in shade next to buildings enclosing well heads, presumably to avoid harassment by parasitic insects. Caribou were recorded on gravel pads between 1300 and 2000 hours (ADST) with peak numbers occurring between 1300 to 1400 and 1800 to 1900 hours (ADST). For most vehicle and human disturbances, Caribou on gravel pads responded by changing location on the pad.

  6. Cumulative impacts of an evolving oil-field complex on the distribution of calving caribou

    Nellemann, C; Cameron, RD

    Canadian Journal of Zoology/Revue Canadien de Zoologie [Can. J. Zool./Rev. Can. Zool.], vol. 76, no. 8, pp. 1425-1430, Aug 1998

    We investigated changes in distribution and terrain use of calving barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) with increasing density of roads in the Kuparuk Development Area, an oil-field region near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In June of 1987-1992, caribou density, as determined by aerial surveys, was inversely related to road density, declining by 63% at >0.0-0.3 km road/km super(2) and by 86% at >0.6-0.9 km road/km super(2). The latter road density virtually excluded cow-calf pairs. Effects of avoidance were most apparent in preferred rugged terrain, comprising important habitats for foraging during the calving period. Our results show that (i) females and calves are far more sensitive to surface development than adult males and yearlings, (ii) the greatest incremental impacts are attributable to initial construction of roads and related facilities, and (iii) the extent of avoidance greatly exceeds the physical "footprint" of an oil-field complex. A disproportionate reduction in use of foraging habitats within the Kuparuk Development Area, combined with decreasing tolerance of the expanding industrial complex, may explain the recent displacement of some calving activity to areas farther inland, and, in part, lower fecundity. Possible consequences include heightened competition for forage, increased risk of predation, and lower productivity of the herd.

  7. Caribou Distribution During the Post-Calving Period in Relation to Infrastructure in the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Alaska

    Cronin, MA; Amstrup, SC; Durner, GM; Noel, LE; McDonald, TL; Ballard, WB

    Arctic, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 85-93, Jun 1998

    There is concern that caribou (Rangifer tarandus) may avoid roads and facilities (i.e., infrastructure) in the Prudhoe Bay oil field (PBOF) in northern Alaska, and that this avoidance can have negative effects on the animals. We quantified the relationship between caribou distribution and PBOF infrastructure during the post-calving period (mid-June to mid-August) with aerial surveys from 1990 to 1995. We conducted four to eight surveys per year with complete coverage of the PBOF. We identified active oil field infrastructure and used a geographic information system (GIS) to construct ten 1 km wide concentric intervals surrounding the infrastructure. We tested whether caribou distribution is related to distance from infrastructure with a chi-squared habitat utilization-availability analysis and log-linear regression. We considered bulls, calves, and total caribou of all sex/age classes separately. The habitat utilization-availability analysis indicated there was no consistent trend of attraction to or avoidance of infrastructure. Caribou frequently were more abundant than expected in the intervals close to infrastructure, and this trend was more pronounced for bulls and for total caribou of all sex/age classes than for calves. Log-linear regression (with Poisson error structure) of numbers of caribou and distance from infrastructure were also done, with and without combining data into the 1 km distance intervals. The analysis without intervals revealed no relationship between caribou distribution and distance from oil field infrastructure, or between caribou distribution and Julian date, year, or distance from the Beaufort Sea coast. The log-linear regression with caribou combined into distance intervals showed the density of bulls and total caribou of all sex/age classes declined with distance from infrastructure. Our results indicate that during the post-calving period: 1) caribou distribution is largely unrelated to distance from infrastructure; 2) caribou regularly use habitats in the PBOF; 3) caribou often occur close to infrastructure; and 4) caribou do not appear to avoid oil field infrastructure. Original Abstract: On s'inquiete du fait que le caribou (Rangifer tarandus) pourrait eviter

  8. Effects of petroleum exploration on woodland caribou in northeastern Alberta

    Bradshaw, CJA; Boutin, S; Hebert, DM

    Journal of Wildlife Management [J. Wildl. Manage.], vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 1127-1133, Oct 1997

    Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in northeastern Alberta apparently have declined and are classified as endangered. Petroleum exploration has been implicated as a possible cause. We examined the effects of simulated petroleum exploration (i.e., loud noise) on caribou movement and behavior. We monitored 5 (1993) and 20 (1994) radiocollared caribou during 3 periods (pretest, test, and post-test) over 2 treatments (exposed and control). Exposed caribou moved significantly faster than control caribou (2.3 plus or minus 0.2 SE vs. 1.6 km/hr plus or minus 0.1), but not significantly farther. Exposed caribou crossed habitat boundaries significantly more than did controls (0.53 plus or minus 0.16 vs. 0.27 changes/period plus or minus 0.14). Disturbance did not affect significantly the proportion of time allocated to feeding. Treatment caribou demonstrated higher overall movement rates in 1993 than 1994 (2.7 plus or minus 0.2 vs. 1.7 km/hr plus or minus 0.1), displacement (3.5 plus or minus 1.3 vs. 2.3 km plus or minus 0.6), and more time allocated to feeding (27.5 plus or minus 2.9 vs. 9.0% plus or minus 1.7). Habitat boundaries crossed did not differ significantly between years. We suggest that increased movement may result in higher energy expenditure during winter, and that disturbed caribou may switch habitat type for cover or escape terrain. We believe that differences in movement between years resulted from higher snow depths in 1994. We also suggest that land-use managers should limit total disturbance during winter rather than mitigate industrial activity with timing restrictions.

  9. Redistribution of calving caribou in response to oil field development on the arctic slope of Alaska.

    Cameron, RD; Reed, DJ; Dau, JR; Smith, WT

    Arctic, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 338-342, 1992

    Aerial surveys were conducted annually in June 1978-87 near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to determine changes in the distribution of calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti ) that accompanied petroleum-related development. With construction of an oil field access road through a calving concentration area, mean caribou density (no./km super(2)) decreased from 1.41 to 0.31 (P = 0.05) within 1 km and increased from 1.41 to 4.53 (P = 0.04) 5-6 km from the road. Concurrently, relative caribou use of the adjacent area declined (P < 0.02), apparently in response to increasing surface development. We suggest that perturbed distribution associated with roads reduced the capacity of the nearby area to sustain parturient females and that insufficient spacing of roads may have depressed overall calving activity. Use of traditional calving grounds and of certain areas therein appears to favor calf survival, principally through lower predation risk and improved foraging conditions. Given the possible loss of those habitats through displacement and the crucial importance of the reproductive process, a cautious approach to petroleum development on the Arctic Slope is warranted.

  10. Environmental and energy study conference special report: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. War in Persian Gulf sharpens debate over oil exploration.

    Congress, Washington, DC (USA). Environmental and Energy Study Conf., May 1991, 5 pp

    Repercussions from the war in the Persian Gulf are still echoing through the congressional debate over whether to drill for the potentially enormous oil fields hidden beneath Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If the Interior Department's estimates are correct, peak production of oil from the refuge could reduce U.S. demand for imported petroleum by nearly 12 percent. In July 1990, one month before its armies invaded the tiny, oil-rich emirate of Kuwait, Iraq was supplying 12.6 percent of the United States' imported oil. Some have said the Reagan and Bush administrations' emphasis on oil production instead of conservation led the United States to war in the first place. Paper copy available on subscription, U.S., Canada, and Mexico price $195.00 /year First Class or $295.00/year Overnight Delivery; all others write for quote. Single copies also available in paper copy or microfiche. Base Manual (Briefing Book) available as PB90-960199 (DBO).

  11. ANWR - a land use decision for the future.

    Ives, JA

    MATER. SOC., vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 181-188, 1989

    The nation's most promising area for major new oil and gas discoveries lies in northeastern Alaska, on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The area lies between the oil-rich Prudhoe Bay and Canada's MacKenzie Delta. Only 1.5 million acres of the Refuge are being considered for oil and gas leasing. Geological and geophysical investigations within and surrounding the Coastal Plain support the presence of commercial oil accumulations. Numerous oil seeps and oil-saturated rock outcrops have been identified on the Coastal Plain.

  12. The Arctic oil and wildlife refuge

    Gibbs, W.W.

    Scientific American [Sci. Am.], vol. 284, no. 5, pp. 62-69, 2001

    The last great onshore oil field in America may lie beneath the nation's last great coastal wilderness preserve. Science can clarify the potential economic benefits and the ecological risks of drilling into it.

  13. Reproductive ecology of tundra swans on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Monda, MJ; Ratti, JT; McCabe, TR

    Journal of Wildlife Management [J. WILDL. MANAGE.], vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 757-773, 1994

    Management of tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) is hampered by a lack of information on their nesting and brood-rearing ecology. We studied tundra swan nesting and brook-rearing ecology on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Alaska, 1988-90. Nest success was 58% (n = 31) in 1988, 83% (n = 36) in 1989, 84% (n = 43) in 1990, and 76% (n = 110) for the 3 years. Nests were located predominately in marshes dominated by sheathed pondweed (Potamogeton vaginatus), mare's tail (Hippuris vulgaris), and Hoppner sedge (Carex subspathacea), or by pendent grass (Arctophila fulva), water sedge (C. aquatilis), and tall cotton grass (Eriophorum angustifolium). Nests were seldom located in upland or partially vegetated habitats and were near coastal lagoons or large coastal lakes. Incubating swans were easily disturbed by ground observers and left their nests when we were 500-2,000 m from the nest. Swans did not cover eggs with nest material prior to departure; thus, eggs were vulnerable to avian predation and thermal stress. Brood-foraging sites on the Kongakut Delta (n = 41) were frequently in aquatic-marsh (59%) and saline graminoid-shrub (29%) habitats, occasionally in graminoid-marsh (7%) and partially vegetated (5%) habitats, and absent from upland, graminoid-shrub-water sedge, and graminoid-shrub-cotton grass habitats. Brood-foraging sites on the Canning Delta (n = 35) were frequently in graminoid-marsh (46%), graminoid-shrub-water sedge (26%), and aquatic-marsh (23%) habitats, occasionally in graminoid-shrub-cotton grass (3%) and upland habitats (3%), and absent from saline graminoid-shrub and partially vegetated habitats. Young cygnets grazed in terrestrial habitats more frequently than older broods on the Kongakut (P = 0.003) and Canning (P = 0.053) deltas. Traditional use of foraging sites may enhance grazing areas by increasing plant production the year of grazing and densities of plant species that tolerate grazing. Protection of aquatic-marsh, graminoid-marsh, and saline graminoid-shrub habitats, particularly those supporting sheathed pondweed and traditionally used nesting areas, is important for maintaining current swan populations on ANWR.

  14. Human disturbances of denning polar bears in Alaska.

    Amstrup, SC

    Arctic, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 246-250, 1993

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus ) give birth in dens of snow and ice. The altricial neonates cannot leave the den for >2 months post-partum and are potentially vulnerable to disturbances near dens. The coastal plain (1002) area of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) lies in a region of known polar bear denning and also may contain >9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Polar bears in dens could be affected in many ways by hydrocarbon development, but neither the distribution of dens nor the sensitivity of bears in dens has been known. I documented the distribution of dens on ANWR between 1981 and 1992 and observed responses of bears in dens to various anthropogenic disturbances. Of 44 dens located by radiotelemetry on the mainland coast of Alaska and Canada, 20 (45%) were on ANWR and 15 (34%) were within the 1002 area. Thus, development of ANWR will increase the potential that denning polar bears are disturbed by human activities. However, perturbations resulting from capture, marking, and radiotracking maternal bears did not affect litter sizes or stature of cubs produced. Likewise, 10 of 12 denned polar bears tolerated exposure to exceptional levels of activity. This tolerance and the fact that investment in the denning effort increases through the winter indicated that spatial and temporal restrictions on developments could prevent the potential for many disruptions of denned bears from being realized.

  15. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles.

    Felix, NA; Raynolds, MK; Jorgenson, JC; DuBois, KE

    Arctic and Alpine Research [ARCT. ALP. RES.], vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 69-77, 1992

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trend in community dissimilarity (differences in species cover values between disturbed and control areas). Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level.

  16. The effects of winter seismic trails on tundra vegetation in northeastern Alaska, U.S.A.

    Felix, NA; Raynolds, MK

    Arctic and Alpine Research [ARCT. ALP. RES.], vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 188-202, 1989

    The effects of winter seismic trails on tundra vegetation were studied on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Plant cover was lower on most disturbed plots than on their adjacent controls, with decreases as high as 87% the first summer following disturbance. The species most sensitive to disturbance were evergreen shrubs, followed by willows, tussock sedges, and lichens. Willow height in riparian shrubland plots was significantly reduced by 5 to 11 cm (from an average of 16 cm, p < 0.05). Little recovery of plants occurred in the second or third summers after disturbance; only four plots in river floodplain habitats (Dryas terrace and riparian shrubland) showed improvements in cover of a few species.

  17. ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ALASKA: COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION PLAN, WILDERNESS REVIEW, AND WILD RIVER PLAN.

    EPA number: 880308F, 642 pages, September 16, 1988

    PURPOSE: Implementation of a comprehensive conservation plan for the 19.0-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located in the extreme northwest corner of Alaska, is proposed. The preferred management alternative would involve continuation of the current range and intensity of management and recreational and economic uses. More specifically, the plan would involve maintenance of the refuge in an undeveloped state; emphasis on the maintenance of the refuge's natural diversity and key fish and wildlife populations and habitats; maintenance of traditional access opportunities; provision of continued subsistence of refuge resources; maintenance of opportunities for trapping, sport hunting, and fishing, as well as nonconsumptive recreational activities; allowance of operations by guides and outfitters, as well as oil and gas studies; and maintenance of existing wilderness areas, with no provisions for new wilderness designations. POSITIVE IMPACTS: Continuation of the current management regime would protect and maintain the refuge's fish and wildlife populations and other natural resources. Disturbance of fish and wildlife habitats and populations would be minimized. Opportunities for trapping, hunting, fishing, and other public uses would be maintained, as would scientific research and wildlife observation opportunities. The existing Arctic Refuge Wilderness would continue to be preserved as such. Wilderness values would be maintained over 99 percent of the refuge. NEGATIVE IMPACTS: Management actions would result in minor adverse impacts to raptors and black and brown bears. Increased public use would result in localized degradation of water quality, although no significant changes in overall water quality throughout the refuge would be expected. Public use would also result in minor adverse impacts on recreational values in localized areas such as Atigun Gorge and the Hulahula River. LEGAL MANDATES: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-487), National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (P.L. 94-233), and Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.). PRIOR REFERENCES: For the abstract of the draft environmental impact statement, see 88-0007D, Volume 12, Number 1-2.

  18. ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ALASKA, COASTAL PLAIN RESOURCE ASSESSMENT.

    EPA number: 870135F, 2 volumes and maps, April 20, 1987

    PURPOSE: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, comprising more than 19 million acres in the northern corner of Alaska, is unique and one of the largest units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The coastal plain portion of the refuge contains a variety of habitats that support fish and wildlife species such as muskoxen, snow geese, arctic char, and caribou of both Central Arctic and Porcupine herds. The 1.5-million-acre area of the coastal plain has been predicted to contain as much as 29 billion barrels of oil and 64 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it the most outstanding oil and gas frontier area in North America. Because of its enormous hydrocarbon potential and its potential contribution to the vital need for domestic sources of oil and gas, the Department of the Interior (DOI) recommends that the Congress enact legislation making this entire area of the Arctic Refuge available for oil and gas leasing and authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to impose necessary and appropriate measures to protect refuge resources and values and to ensure coordinated and efficient oil and gas activities. Despite its remote location and hostile environment, the proposed area is the most attractive onshore petroleum exploration target in the United States today. Development of its potential oil and gas resources could make a significant contribution to the economy and security of this Nation and could be done in an environmentally responsible manner. If the Congress authorizes leasing of this area, the program would be designed by DOI to permit leasing first what it considers the most prospective areas. In this way, additional exploration, including off-structure test wells and delineation drilling, could get underway to determine the location and size of any oil and gas reserves on the coastal plain. Authority for administering the leasing program should be vested in DOI, to be exercised through the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). FWS would be delegated primary responsibility for overseeing all aspects of oil and gas exploration, development, and production within Arctic Refuge boundaries that could affect surface resources and values. BLM would use its expertise in mineral leasing and development to assist FWS in administering the leasing program. Competitive lease sales would be held in accordance with a timetable established by BLM, after consultation with FWS regarding environmental considerations. Development of the leases would be designed to avoid or minimize disturbance to wildlife and other resources; produce oil and gas in the most orderly, efficient, and economical manner; and maximize the contribution of the area's oil and gas production to the national need for additional domestic sources of energy. POSITIVE IMPACTS: Leasing this area of the Arctic Refuge coastal plain would provide industry the opportunity to explore for and develop what is believed to be the last onshore area of significant oil and gas potential in the United States. In addition to reducing the dependence on foreign oil, contributions from this area would enhance the national security of the country, produce a more favorable balance of trade by saving $8.1 billion in the year 2005 on the cost of imported oil, and provide overall enhanced economic benefits to the Nation. The contribution of oil from this area could be expected to span over 30 years from the start of production. Based on the mean recoverable value of 3.2 billion barrels, production of oil from the proposed area could account for almost 4 percent of the daily U.S. oil demand and nearly 8 percent of the daily U.S. production. The net national economic benefits expected to accrue from oil production in this area could approximate $79.4 billion, including federal revenues of $38.0 billion. NEGATIVE IMPACTS: If the entire proposed area is leased and subsequently developed, there may be some long-term widespread effects on the area's water resources, Porcupine caribou herd, muskoxen, and wilderness values for at least as long as oil and gas development activities influence the area. Overall, however, most adverse environmental effects would be minimized or eliminated through mitigation. The presence of an infrastructure supporting oil and gas development and a pipeline to transport the oil to the nearby Prudhoe Bay area would eliminate the wilderness character of the area. Industrial development could profoundly affect the native culture. LEGAL MANDATES: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-487). PRIOR REFERENCES: For the abstract of the draft environmental impact statement, see 86-0458D, Volume 10, Number 11.

  19. Habitat preservation

    Chamberlain, DW; Johnstone, James; Lindstedt-Siva, June; Wolfe, Marcia H; St. John, Ted

    SPE Monogr Ser, vol. 18, pp. 14-23, 1999

    Development of extensive environmental regulations in the 1960's and 1970's highlighted the importance of habitat conservation. Oil and gas regulatory agencies played the first role in mitigating oil-development impacts on habitat. Agencies adopted rules to encourage proper waste disposal, to require cleanup of oil spills, and to cover sumps and well cellars. These measures provided basic protection for wildlife. The potential impacts of oil and gas development, and the methods to minimize or mitigate the impacts on different habitat types are presented.

  20. Selection of calving sites by Porcupine herd caribou.

    Fancy, SG; Whitten, KR

    CAN. J. ZOOL./J. CAN. ZOOL., vol. 69, no. 7, pp. 1736-1743, 1991

    Characteristics of 305 calving sites used by 131 different radio-collared caribou (Rangifer tarandus ) cows from the Porcupine herd in northeastern Alaska and the northern Yukon Territory were investigated between 1983 and 1990 to determine the factors influencing calving site selection. Cows selected areas north the foothills primarily to reduce exposure of calves to predators. Sites dominated by Eriophorum tussocks were selected secondarily for access to newly emerging vegetation. Highest calf mortality occurred in years when snowmelt was relatively late and calving occurred closer to the foothills and in Canada. Industrial development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could increase calf mortality if calving were replaced south and east of potential development areas.