Sun-drenched Pelican Island in Florida is about as far from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as you can get in the United States. At first blush, the 5,000-acre warm marsh would seem to have little connection to the 19 million-acre stretch of mountains and tundra. But they are inextricably linked. A buff-breasted sandpiper. © Subhankar Banerjee, from his book Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land. As part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, both places provide migratory birds with habitat and sustain valuable wetlands. Both play historic roles in the development of refuge-based conservation. And both help …
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Robert L. Fischman is a professor of law at Indiana University-Bloomington and author of The National Wildlife Refuges: Coordinating a Conservation System through Law.