Holding the line

  For a diligent review of environmental issues facing Arctic and interior Alaska, you might look to the 27-year-old Northern Alaska Environmental Center and its 20-page, quarterly newsletter, The Northern Line. The title recalls a Gary Snyder poem, "Behind is a forest that goes to the Arctic ... and here we must draw our line." Supported by over 1,000 members, this Fairbanks-based organization tracks logging, mining and oil activities and also runs an environmental education youth camp. One of its major projects is protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, a perennial threat. In 1997, the group led a coalition that was instrumental in fending off Alaska's attempt to acquire the Dinkum Sands, an area of tidelands and lagoons just outside the Arctic refuge.

The Northern Alaska Environmental Center is based at 218 Driveway St., Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907/452-5021). You can visit their Web site at www.mosquitonet.com/~naec.

* Stanley Yung