Some 53 percent of Americans oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, while 33 percent favor the idea, according to a poll taken at the end of January by the Associated Press. Former President Carter is continuing his campaign to protect the refuge, saying that drilling would provide only six months’ worth of oil for the nation while destroying essential calving grounds for caribou. However, even if enviros wage a successful battle against President Bush’s plan to open the refuge to drilling, other ecologically important areas all across Alaska aren’t likely to be spared. How much, for instance, have you heard about the 700,000-acre Copper River Delta? The area is one of the most important shorebird resting points on the Pacific Coast — and a target for drilling by the oil industry.

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