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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Senate vote triggers ecotour rush

Tour guides serving Arctic National Wildlife Refuge expect a boost in demand for tours in the wake of last week's U.S. Senate vote in support of oil drilling in the refuge. Apparently many people want to see the pristine refuge before it is ravaged by the hunt for oil.

Alaska politicians, almost all of them enthusiastic drilling backers, see the business interests of refuge tour guides as tiny compared to the potential economic benefits of ANWR development.

Guide Wade Willis told the Reuters news agency that many people who book tours with his company want to see the wildlife refuge before the landscape is dotted with roads, pipeline and lodging facilities.