(Pronounced ANN-wor) Acronym for "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
", an 18-million acre expanse of wilderness in the northeastern corner of Alaska
. While, empirically, the difference between the meaning implied by the acronym "ANWR" and the full name "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
" is absolutely nothing; the two names have different meanings light of the oil drilling
controversy that is currently surrounding the refuge.
Those who are opposed to oil drilling within the refuge tend to prefer the use of "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" because the name establishes it as a national wilderness area in which wildlife live, and therefore emphasises the natural value of the area. ANWR, on the other hand, sounds much more like a militairy acronym and doesn't carry the "important wilderness area" sort of connotations that the full name does. Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), a heavy supporter of opening the area up to oil drilling, at one point tried to push Congress to rename the area "Arctic Oil Reserve".
For information on the area itself, see Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.