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Arctic Map Vanishes, and Oil Area Expands

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posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 11:27 PM
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Please read the quote. It speaks for itself. ...And sorry I'm late posting this - the article only will be free until the 28th.


Arctic Map Vanishes, and Oil Area Expands

Maps matter. They chronicle the struggles of empires and zoning boards. They chart political compromise. So it was natural for Republican Congressional aides, doing due diligence for what may be the last battle in the fight over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to ask for the legally binding 1978 map of the refuge and its coastal plain.

It was gone. No map, no copies, no digitized version.

The wall-size 1:250,000-scale map delineated the tundra in the biggest national land-use controversy of the last quarter-century, an area that environmentalists call America's Serengeti and that oil enthusiasts see as America's Oman.

The map had been stored behind a filing cabinet in a locked room in Arlington, Va. Late in 2002, it was there. In early 2003, it disappeared. There are just a few reflection-flecked photographs to remember it by.

All this may have real consequences. The United States Geological Survey drew up a new map. On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee passed a measure based on the new map that opened to drilling 1.5 million acres of coastal plain in the refuge.




This problem of disappearing evidence is plaguing all the sciences these days. I've seen a lot of medical research and information on geophysics disappear overnight from the Net, get rewritten, altered, and changed in dramatic ways over the past few years.


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