*NEWS*U.S. ARCTIC MAP VANISHES ?

  • futor_902x177v7-tonernew
  • big-banner-ad_2-sean
  • Print
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • toner-news-big-banner-nov-8
  • facebook-tonernews-12-08-2016
  • 536716a_green_sweep_web_banner_902x17712
  • 161213_banner_futorag_902x177px
  • 2toner1-2
  • 4toner4
Share

*NEWS*U.S. ARCTIC MAP VANISHES ?

 user 2005-10-21 at 11:44:00 am Views: 40
  • #14123

    Arctic Map Vanishes, and Oil Area Expands
    WASHINGTON,
    Oct. 05 – 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.
    The missing map did not seem to include in the coastal
    plain tens of thousands of acres of Native Alaskans’ lands. On the new
    map, those lands were included, arguably making it easier to open them
    to energy development.
    The measure is scheduled to be in the budget reconciliation bill to be voted on next month.
    “People
    have asked me several times, ‘Do you think someone took this
    intentionally?’ ” said Doug Vandegraft, the cartographer for the Fish
    and Wildlife Service who was the last known person to see the old map.
    “I hope to God not. So few people knew about it. I’m able to sleep at
    night because I don’t think it was maliciously taken. I do think it was
    thrown out.”
    Mr. Vandegraft said he had folded the map in half,
    cushioned within its foam-board backing, and put it behind the filing
    cabinet in the locked room for safekeeping.
    He said he was
    distraught when he learned of the loss. In its place in the original
    nook, he said, he found a new, folded piece of foam board similar to
    the old one – but with no map attached.
    “I felt sick to my stomach,” he said. “I queried everyone here. I think people could tell that I was angry about it.”
    No one admitted knowing what had happened.
    “It infuriated me,” he said. “It was in no one’s way. Why would someone take it on themselves to say no one needs this?
    “No one knew where the foam-core boards came from.”
    The
    implications of the contours on the new map, at least for the native
    lands, are in dispute. Some people argue that the native owners, the
    Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation, which controls much of the surface rights
    to the land, and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, which controls
    the mineral rights, would be able to offer energy leases no matter
    where the lines are drawn, as soon as Congress opens the plain.
    The
    legislative counsel of the Interior Department, Jane M. Lyder, did not
    go quite that far, but did say the new map might make the question moot.
    “It’s a very circular kind of thing,” Ms. Lyder said. “Changing the line on the map makes it a lot easier.”
    In
    addition, she said, the inclusion of the native lands within the
    coastal plain ensures that they will be covered by the bill’s
    requirement that no more than 2,000 acres of the plain be used for
    drilling platforms, airstrips, roads and other surface disturbances. By
    including the native lands in the plain, any work there would count to
    the 2,000-acre limit, she said.
    Mr. Vandegraft, the cartographer, said the experience had changed his habits.
    “Anything I considered historic, we scanned them and took them to the National Archives,” he said.