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Ten stamps celebrate America's last frontier

The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the fascinating flora and fauna of the arctic tundra Wednesday when 10 commemorative Actic Tundra postage stamps were issued in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Arctic Tundra stamps, the latest in the "Nature of America" series, come in a pane of 10. The individual designs are part of a larger scene illustrated by John D. Dawson. The pane is the fifth in a series promoting appreciation of North America's major plant and animal communities.

Coldest of the North American ecosystems, the arctic tundra is a vast treeless region stretching across northern Alaska and Canada. The soil is permanently frozen except for the surface layer, thawed by the summer sun, where plants take root.

The Arctic Tundra stamp pane depicts an autumn tundra scene in the northern foothills of the majestic Brooks Range in Alaska. In fall, the leaves and berries of tundra plants make a brilliant tapestry of red, yellow and orange. Animals prepare for the long winter. Some migrate, and others have found ways to survive the intense cold.

To see the Arctic Tundra stamps, visit the U.S. Postal Service Web site at www.usps.com or call toll-free 1-800-782-6724.

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