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I recently visited the border of South and North Korea and wrote about something positive that’s come out of the separation.

Wildlife thrives in ‘the most dangerous place on Earth’

Former President Bill Clinton called the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the 155-mile border between South and North Korea, “the most dangerous place on Earth.”

Created in 1953 during armistice negotiations, it’s the world’s most fortified military border, lined with soldiers, concertina wire and countless landmines. 

During a recent visit to the Joint Security Area — the only portion of the DMZ where South and North Korean soldiers stand face-to-face — I signed a declaration acknowledging that my visit would “entail entrance into a hostile area and the possibility of injury or death as a direct result of enemy action.”

As a North Korean soldier snapped photos of my tour group, we were instructed not to point or gesture, and an American soldier informed us that North Korea could level the South Korean capital of Seoul in minutes.

Despite the truce, the two countries remain at war. 

But while the DMZ is one of the most dangerous places for humans, it’s one of the safest places for wildlife. READ MORE.

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Exploring the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River

The Gulkana is one of the most popular sportfishing rivers in Alaska, providing rich habitat for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, king salmon, red salmon, whitefish, longnose suckers, and lamprey.  A poplular river for fisherman and boaters in the summer, this river has also played an important role in the lives of the Ahtna, providing access to subsistence resoucres throughout history and pre-history.  During winter months the frozen Gulkana River was historically used as an important travel route from the Copper River to the Tangle Lakes and what is now known as the Denali Highway area. 

The Gulkana River Watershed drains approximately 2,140 square miles of Southcentral Alaska.  The river begins in the Alaska Range near Summit Lake and flows south into the Copper River, eventually draining into Prince William Sound.  Several hundred lakes and ponds are scattered throughout the spruce-dominated forest of the Gulkana River Watershed, providing abundant nesting areas for trumpeter swans and waterfowl.

Photos by Jeremy Matlock, BLM

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