Join Naturalist David Govatski in the Tin Mountain Conservation Center Nature Program on Thursday, February 3rd at 7 PM for a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. David will show a high definition movie of the Refuge featuring its wildlife, vegetation and sweeping panoramas. David will also show slides of his 2010 rafting expedition on the Canning River to experience the wilderness north of the Brooks Range where wolves, caribou, muskoxen roam. Free refuge brochures and posters will be available after the program.


Renowned for its wildlife, the nineteen million acre Arctic Refuge is inhabited by 45 species of land and marine mammals, ranging from the pygmy shrew to the bowhead whale. Best known are the polar, grizzly, and black bear; wolf, wolverine, Dall sheep, moose, musk ox, and the animal that has come to symbolize the area’s wildness, the free-roaming caribou. Thirty-six species of fish occur in Arctic Refuge waters, and 180 species of birds have been observed on the refuge.

 Eight million acres of the Arctic Refuge are designated Wilderness, and three rivers (Sheenjek, Wind, and Ivishak) are designated Wild Rivers. Two areas of the refuge are designated Research Natural Areas. Because of distinctive scenic and scientific features, several rivers, valleys, canyons, lakes, and a rock mesa have been recommended as National Natural Landmarks.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the refuge is that large-scale ecological and evolutionary processes continue here, free of human control or manipulation. A prominent reason for establishment of the Arctic Refuge was the fact that this single protected area encompasses an unbroken continuum of arctic and subarctic ecosystems. Here, one can traverse the boreal forest of the Porcupine River plateau, wander north up the rolling taiga uplands, cross the rugged, glacier-capped Brooks Range, and follow any number of rivers across the tundra coastal plain to the lagoons, estuaries, and barrier islands of the Beaufort Seas coast, all without encountering any artifact of civilization. David Govatski is the President of the Friends of Pondicherry and lives in Jefferson, NH.

Tin Mountain Conservation Center nature programs are made possible thanks to LL Bean and the Evenor Armington Fund. Community programs are open to the public. Donations of $5 per family and $3 per person are appreciated, members are free.