By Richard Lowitt
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Extra resources for Politics in the Postwar American West
Yet the degree of resolution was deceptive. Conflict has persisted as parties have sought to defend or enlarge their gains. Production from Prudhoe Bay has passed its high point, and the last drops of crude from it and the neighboring Kuparuk field are expected to flow through the pipeline early next century. Alaska's boosters and congressional delegation, their eyes on the oil within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR, the former wildlife range, renamed and extended in 1980), still consider the "dangers of dependency on foreign supplies" their winning card.
There is an old folk saying in the state that with refrigeration came Republicans. It is probably true. Even if they came, the visitors did not necessarily like what they saw: the land marked usually by few trees but by sun and wind, heat, insects, and railroads. "2 ''Arizona," he continued cheerfully, ''is the native haunt of the scorpion, the solpugid, the sidewinder, the tarantula, the vampire bat, the cosenose kissing bug, the vinegarroon, the centipede, and three species of poisonous lizard: namely the Gila monster, the land speculator and the real estate broker.
The seven-thousand strong Gwitch'in Nationconsisting of caribou-dependent villages scattered across northeast Alaska and northwest Canadaleads the opposition. Coastal Inupiat organizations, having enjoyed oil royalties, favor drilling (with safeguards, of course). This reflects a larger division within Native Alaska that the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 enshrined rather than resolved. The act granted Natives a piece of the state equal to 12 percent of its total area, but within a Euro-American, capitalist framework and on corporate terms.
Politics in the Postwar American West by Richard Lowitt