Can Alaskan Caribou and Oil Development Coexist?

by Donald F. Keene, Arco Oil & Gas Co, Bakersfield, CA, USA,
Angus Gavin, Arco Oil & Gas Co, Bakersfield, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The coastal area near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska is becoming increasingly industrialized as oil development continues. This same coastal area is an important area to a caribou herd known as the Central Arctic Herd (CAH). Caribou are migratory animals. Their migration pattern brings the CAH to Prudhoe Bay in the spring and summer months to calve and feed. Counts of the CAH caribou were made during May through July for three years (1980-1982) to determine areas utilized by the caribou. Some calving occurred within the study area, although the CAH caribou appear to use a very broad area of the North Slope coastal plain for calving. Based on this and other studies, solutions can be offered to allow petroleum development, yet minimize impacts to the CAH caribou. These solutions include topics such as road alignment, traffic patterns and pipeline alignment.

Subject Headings: Coastal environment | Bays | Alignment | Wells (oil and gas) | Industries | Animals | Slopes | Coastal plains | Arctic | Alaska | United States

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