Where Mountains Are Nameless: Passion and Politics in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Overview

The "compelling" (Seattle Times) story behind a most sacred piece of American wilderness.
Adventurer Jonathan Waterman braves polar bears and frigid waters in a journey through the heart of the Alaskan wilds—and into the heated political debate surrounding the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. A 19-million-acre wilderness that may contain as much as 16 billion barrels of crude oil, the Refuge has been at the center of an epic battle between conservationists and developers. Waterman's ...

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Overview

The "compelling" (Seattle Times) story behind a most sacred piece of American wilderness.
Adventurer Jonathan Waterman braves polar bears and frigid waters in a journey through the heart of the Alaskan wilds—and into the heated political debate surrounding the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. A 19-million-acre wilderness that may contain as much as 16 billion barrels of crude oil, the Refuge has been at the center of an epic battle between conservationists and developers. Waterman's unforgettable trek, which will air on PBS as part of National Geographic's Wild Chronicles series, brings readers face to face with perhaps the most sought after patch of American soil and those who—like the pioneering conservationists Olaus and Mardy Murie—have made it their life's work to preserve it.

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Editorial Reviews

National Geographic Adventure Magazine
“It will effectively send you screaming to your computer to pound out an e-mail to your congressman.”
KLIATT - Raymond Puffer
To a person staring at a map, the upper reaches of Canada's far north have always seemed a jagged welter of snowy islands and rocks, and ice-choked seas. Their bitter weather and very remoteness guaranteed that most of the fabled exploratory expeditions searching for the Northwest Passage would end in failure, and so they did. No longer. Gradual warming of the climate has opened up great stretches of the formidable seas, at least for part of each year, and already several merchant ships and private craft have made the traverse from Greenland to Alaska. It was perhaps inevitable that individual adventurers would follow. The first such was author Jonathan Waterman, who made the 2,200-mile journey single-handed, by kayak, skis and sailboat. Waterman, a park ranger, wilderness guide and Outward Bound instructor, completed his trek during the course of three separate expeditions from 1997 to 1999. Along the way he endured monotonous tundra and immense loneliness, and slept among heaps of ancient refuse, frozen excrement and foraging grizzlies. Arctic exploration is not always romantic. There is a blurry line between heroic feat and self-gratifying stunt, and this adventure seems to fall somewhere in between. The author is quite self-conscious about eulogizing his loneliness and hardships, and his encounters with the Eskimo people have all the depth of a National Geographic article. On the other hand, it was a unique journey through one of the least-described areas on Earth, one that will be relished by the armchair traveler. For school and public collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393330175
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/8/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Waterman is a photographer, the author of nine books, and an accidental filmmaker. His award-winning work often explores the North, and he recently earned a Literary Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He and his family live outside Carbondale, Colorado.

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