WMU News

Author argues against oil drilling in Arctic Refuge

April 5, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Chad Kister, author of the newly released book "Arctic Quest," will give a slide presentation in Room 2303 of Sangren Hall at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, about the impact of oil development on the massive Arctic refuge ecosystem.

The public is welcome at the free program, which is sponsored by Students for a Sustainable Earth at Western Michigan University.

"Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness" is about a unique expedition across the Arctic Refuge, which is the last intact Arctic ecosystem left in the United States. It encompasses an area the size of California. President Bush has made it a priority of his administration to open the coastal plain--the biological heart of the refuge--to oil development.

"It is unfathomable that we still have not protected the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness after decades of knowing its biological importance," Kister says. Kister has been crusading for more than a decade to protect the Arctic Refuge and to prevent efforts to drill for oil in the refuge.

Kister backpacked and rafted hundreds of miles through the Arctic Refuge, starting at the oil industrial complex of Prudhoe Bay. There, Kister documented the pollution and destruction that the oil industry is causing to the Arctic ecosystem. He then backpacked along the coastal plain into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the route of the proposed development. Kister was forced to live off the land, eating fish, roots, berries and greens for much of his diet, and going hungry for long stretches.

Media contact: Andrea Vogler, 734 846-3749, andrea4127@hotmail.com

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