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City Desk

Little did Mount Pleasant resident Ian Thomas know that being canned as a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) cartographer would lead to Doonesbury fame and a front-page story in Monday’s Washington Post. The flap began when Thomas posted a map of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (a Bush administration target for new oil drilling) on the USGS Web site with “caribou calving areas” highlighted. His superiors maintain that the map was inaccurate, but world media quickly picked up on the story. Thomas says he’s “flabbergasted and completely amazed” by the attention, but he doesn’t agree with the “environmental martyr” tag that he’s earned. “If I knew I was going to lose my job, I would have taken off the map,” he says. The Post’s lengthy article debunking the “myth” of his firing did neglect to mention that Thomas plays in D.C.’s famed Anarchist Soccer League—and that his now-notorious map has been posted at the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Web site (www.peer.org). —Nico Colombant