- Brooks Range
a mountain range in N Alaska, forming a watershed between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean: highest peak, 9239 ft. (2815 m).
* * *Mountain range, northern Alaska, U.S. It extends about 600 mi (1,000 km) from Kotzebue Sound to the Canadian border.Its highest peak is Mount Isto, at 9,060 ft (2,760 m). Forming the northwestern end of the Rocky Mountains, it lies within Gates of the Arctic National Park. Huge reserves of oil were discovered at Prudhoe Bay, and the range is crossed at Atigon Pass by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
* * *northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains in northern Alaska, U.S. Named for the geologist Alfred H. Brooks, the entire range is within the Arctic Circle. It is separated from the Alaska Range (south) by the plains and tablelands of the Yukon (Yukon River) and Porcupine (Porcupine River) river systems. Brooks Range extends about 600 miles (1,000 km) in an east-west direction across Alaska from Canada's Yukon Territory (Yukon) to the Chukchi Sea to the U.S. border, and it reaches widths of up to 200 miles (300 km). The British and Richardson (Richardson Mountains) mountains, wholly situated in Canada and a 250-mile (400-km) extension of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, are sometimes considered part of the Brooks Range. It is the highest mountain range within the Arctic Circle. Its peaks average 3,000 to 4,000 feet (900 to 1,200 metres) in the west and about 5,000 to 6,000 feet (1,500 to 1,800 metres) in the centre and east; Mount Isto, rising to 9,060 feet (2,762 metres), near the Canadian border, is the highest point. The range is a watershed between the Yukon River drainage and that of the Arctic Ocean. Anaktuvuk Pass (2,200 feet [670 metres]), near its centre, is the main means of access from the Yukon lowlands.Prudhoe Bay, at the northern base of the range, has vast reserves of oil; the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska covers some 23.5 million acres (9.5 million hectares). The Trans-Alaska Pipeline crosses the range at Atigun Pass en route to the Valdez terminal in southern Alaska. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the eastern part of the range, is considered by many to be one of the world's ecological treasures; it is home to some 160 species of birds, more than 35 different kinds of land mammals (e.g., caribou, musk oxen, wolverines, and wolves), and several species of marine mammals and fish. This refuge is the subject of controversy between environmentalists and proponents of oil drilling. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, in the rugged Endicott Mountains, and the adjoining Noatak National Preserve also lie along the range. See also Alaskan mountains.
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