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Andrus renews large part of Alaska refuge area

After congressional inaction on the status of public lands in Alaska, US Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus this week ordered 40 million acres of federal wilderness to be protected as wildlife refuge and natural resource areas for the next 20 years. The Alaska Coalition, the chief environmental lobbyist on the issue, praised the action, according to Monitor correspondent John Yemma. But a spokesman for Sen. Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska indicated the senator "disagreed strongly" and felt the move was unnecessary.

In December 1978 Mr. Andrus put a federal shield for three years around 52 million acres; that protection is now being extended for 40 million of those acres, as it may be for the remaining 12 million, Mr. Andrus said.

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