The Richardson Highway is a highway in the U. S. state of Alaska, connecting Valdez to Fairbanks. It is marked as Alaska Route 4 from Valdez to Delta Junction and as Alaska Route 2 from there to Fairbanks, it connects segments of Alaska Route 1 between the Glenn Highway and the Tok Cut-Off. The Richardson Highway was the first major road built in Alaska. A pack trail from the port at Valdez to Eagle, a distance of about 409 miles, was built in 1898 by the U. S. Army to provide an "all-American" route to the Klondike gold fields. After the rush ended, the Army kept the trail open in order to connect its posts at Fort Liscum, in Valdez, Fort Egbert, in Eagle; the Fairbanks gold rush in 1902, the construction of a WAMCATS telegraph line along the trail in 1903, made the Valdez-to-Eagle trail one of the most important access routes to the Alaska Interior, so in 1910, the Alaska Road Commission upgraded it to a wagon road. The head of the project was U. S. Army General Wilds P. Richardson, for whom the highway was named.
During the construction, the government hired failed gold prospectors as well as regular construction workers. The income from this work allowed many of the prospectors to leave Alaska. Several roadhouses now on the National Register of Historic Places were constructed along the route at this time; the rise of motorized travel led the road to be upgraded to automobile standards in the 1920s. To finance continued maintenance and road construction, the Alaska Road Commission instituted tolls for commercial vehicles in 1933 of up to $175 per trip, which were collected at the Tanana River ferry crossing at Big Delta; when the tolls were further increased in 1941 to boost business for the Alaska Railroad, disgruntled truckers nicknamed "gypsies" started a rogue ferry service in order to evade the toll. The Alaska and Glenn highways, built during World War II, connected the rest of the continent and Anchorage to the Richardson Highway at Delta Junction and Glennallen allowing motor access to the new military bases built in the Territory just prior to the war: Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Fort Wainwright adjacent to Fairbanks.
The bridge at Big Delta, the last remaining gap, was built as part of the Alaska Highway project. The southern end was only open during summers until 1950, when a freight company foreman who lived near the treacherous Thompson Pass plowed the snow himself for an entire season to prove the route could be used year-round; the highway was paved in 1957. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, built in 1973-1977 parallels the highway from Fairbanks to Valdez. During the 1990s, the highway was upgraded from Fairbanks to the main gate at Eielson AFB, making this stretch a 4-lane divided road. Intersections with other roads, are still entirely at-grade. Under SAFETEA-LU, Alaska Route 2 from the Canadian border to Fairbanks, comprising parts of the Richardson and Alaska Highways, has been declared a High Priority Corridor. What this means for the distant future is not yet certain. Richardson Highway is part of the unsigned part of the Interstate Highway System east of Fairbanks; the entire length of Interstate A-2 follows Route 2 from the George Parks Highway junction in Fairbanks to Tok, east of which Route 2 carries Interstate A-1 off the Tok Cut-Off Highway to the international border.
Only a short piece of the Richardson Highway in Fairbanks is built to freeway standards. Media related to Richardson Highway at Wikimedia Commons Evolution of the Richardson Highway - ExploreNorth A journey down the Richardson Highway
The American Cordillera is a chain of mountain ranges that consists of an continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, South America and West Antarctica. It is the backbone of the volcanic arc that forms the eastern half of the Pacific Ring of Fire. From north to south, this sequence of overlapping and parallel ranges begins with the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range in Alaska and runs through the Yukon into British Columbia; the main belt of the Rocky Mountains along with the parallel Columbia Mountains and Coast Ranges of mountains and islands continue through British Columbia and Vancouver Island. In the United States, the Cordillera branches include the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, various small Pacific coastal ranges. In Mexico, the Cordillera continues through the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental, as well as the backbone mountains of the Baja California peninsula; the ranges of the Cordillera from Mexico northwards are collectively called the North American Cordillera.
Other terms for the North American Cordillera are "Western Cordillera of North America", in the United States and Canada, the "Canadian Cordillera" in Canada. The Cordillera continues on through the mountain ranges of Central America in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, becomes the Andes Mountains of South America; the Andes with their parallel chains and the island chains off the coast of Chile continue through Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile to the tip of South America at Tierra del Fuego. The Cordillera continues along the Scotia Arc before reaching the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula. Silberling, N. J. et al.. Lithotectonic terrane map of the North American Cordillera. Reston, Va.: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
General Land Office
The General Land Office was an independent agency of the United States government responsible for public domain lands in the United States. It was created in 1812 to take over functions conducted by the United States Department of the Treasury. Starting with the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which created the Public Land Survey System, the Treasury Department had overseen the survey of the "Northwest Territory", including what is now the state of Ohio. Placed under the Department of the Interior when that department was formed in 1849, it was merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management on July 16, 1946; the GLO oversaw the surveying and sale of the public lands in the Western United States and administered the Homestead Act and the Preemption Act in disposal of public lands. The frantic pace of public land sales in the 19th century American West led to the idiomatic expression "land-office business", meaning a thriving or high-volume trade.
The GLO was placed under the Secretary of the Interior when the Department of the Interior was formed in 1849. Reacting to public concerns about forest conservation, Congress in 1891 authorized the President to withdraw timber lands from disposal. Grover Cleveland created 17 forest reserves of nearly 18,000,000 acres, which were managed by the GLO. In 1905, Congress transferred responsibility for these reserves to the newly created Forest Service, under the Department of Agriculture. Beginning in the early 20th century, the GLO shifted from a primary function of land sales to issuing leases and collecting grazing fees for livestock raised on public lands, royalties from minerals off lands withdrawn from disposal under the Withdrawal Act of 1910, as well as other custodial duties. Thus, beginning around 1900, the GLO gained a focus for conservation of renewable public resources, as well as for their exploitation. On July 16, 1946, the GLO was merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management, an agency of the Interior Department responsible for administering the remaining 264,000,000 acres of public lands still in federal ownership.
An early commissioner was John McLean an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The BLM makes images of GLO records issued between 1787 and present publicly available on its website. Since 1990, the BLM's Geographic Coordinates Database program has endeavored to generate coordinate values for each established PLSS corner using the official survey records of the GLO and BLM on a township basis; the GCDB data are available for download by the public in GIS shapefile format from the GeoCommunicator Land Survey Information System website. The GCDB coordinates are available to the public in the GCDB flat file and GCDB coverage formats via the National Operations Center website. List of Commissioners of the General Land Office Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Survey National Irrigation Congress Malcolm J. Rohrbough; the Land Office Business: The Settlement and Administration of American Public Lands, 1789-1837. Oxford U. P.
General Land Office Records: The Official Federal Land Records Site, at Bureau of Land Management
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve is an American national park and preserve located in Interior Alaska, centered on Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The park and contiguous preserve encompass 6,045,153 acres, larger than the state of New Hampshire. On December 2, 1980, 2,146,580-acre Denali Wilderness was established within the park. Denali's landscape is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga, with tundra at middle elevations, glaciers and bare rock at the highest elevations; the longest glacier is the Kahiltna Glacier. Wintertime activities include dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling; the park received 594,660 recreational visitors in 2018. Human habitation in the Denali Region extends to more than 11,000 years before the present, with documented sites just outside park boundaries dated to more than 8,000 years before present; however few archaeological sites have been documented within the park boundaries, owing to the region's high elevation, with harsh winter conditions and scarce resources compared to lower elevations in the area.
The oldest site within park boundaries is the Teklanika River site, dated to about 7130 BC. More than 84 archaeological sites have been documented within the park; the sites are characterized as hunting camps rather than settlements, provide little cultural context. The presence of Athabaskan peoples in the region is dated to 1,500 - 1,000 years before present on linguistic and archaeological evidence, while researchers have proposed that Athabaskans may have inhabited the area for thousands of years before then; the principal groups in the park area in the last 500 years include the Koyukon and Dena'ina people. Other prehistoric finds include Mesozoic fossils from the Denali Region. Studies of fossil plants from the same formation indicate the area was wet, with marshes and ponds throughout the region. In 1906, conservationist Charles Alexander Sheldon conceived the idea of preserving the Denali region as a national park, he presented the plan to his co-members of the Crockett Club. They decided that the political climate at the time was unfavorable for congressional action, that the best hope of success rested on the approval and support from the Alaskans themselves.
Sheldon wrote, "The first step was to secure the approval and cooperation of the delegate who represented Alaska in Congress."In October 1915, Sheldon took up the matter with Dr. E. W. Nelson of the Biological Survey at Washington, D. C. and with George Bird Grinnell, with a purpose to introduce a suitable bill in the coming session of Congress. The matter was taken to the Game Committee of the Boone and Crockett Club and, after a full discussion, it received the committee's full endorsement. On December 3, 1915, the plan was presented to Alaska's delegate, James Wickersham, who after some deliberation gave his approval; the plan went to the Executive Committee of the Boone and Crockett Club and, on December 15, 1915, it was unanimously accepted. The plan was thereupon endorsed by the Club and presented to Stephen Mather, Assistant Secretary of the Interior in Washington, D. C. who approved it. The bill was introduced in April, 1916, by Delegate Wickersham in the House and by Senator Key Pittman of Nevada in the Senate.
Much lobbying took place over the following year, on February 19, 1917, the bill passed. On February 26, 1917, 11 years from its conception, the bill was signed in legislation by the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, thereby creating Mount McKinley National Park. A portion of Denali, excluding the summit, was included the original park boundary. On Thanksgiving Day in 1921, the Mount McKinley Park Hotel opened. In July 1923, President Warren Harding stopped at the hotel, on a tour of the length of the Alaska Railroad, during which he drove a golden spike signaling its completion at Nenana; the hotel was the first thing. The flat-roofed, two-story log building featured exposed balconies, glass windows, electric lights. Inside were two dozen guest rooms, a shop, lunch counter and storeroom. By the 1930s, there were reports of lice, dirty linen, drafty rooms, marginal food, which led to the hotel's closing. In 1947, the park boundaries expanded to include the area of the railroad. After being abandoned for many years, the hotel was destroyed in 1950 by a fire.
There was no road access to the park entrance until 1957. Now with a highway connection to Anchorage and Fairbanks, park attendance expanded: there were 5,000 visitors in 1956 and 25,000 visitors by 1958; the park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1976. A separate Denali National Monument was proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978; the name of Mount McKinley National Park was subject to local criticism from the beginning of the park. The word Denali means "the high one" in the native Athabaskan language and refers to the mountain itself; the mountain was named after newly elected US president William McKinley in 1897 by local prospector William A. Dickey; the United States government formally adopted the name Mount McKinley after President Wilson signed the bill creating Mount McKinley National Park into effect in 1917. In 1980, Mount McKinley National Park was combined with Denali National Monument, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act named the combined unit the Denali National Park and Preserve.
At that time the Alaska state Board of Geographic Names changed
Mount Spurr is a stratovolcano in the Aleutian Arc of Alaska, named after United States Geological Survey geologist and explorer Josiah Edward Spurr, who led an expedition to the area in 1898. The Alaska Volcano Observatory rates Mount Spurr as Level of Concern Color Code Green; the mountain is known aboriginally by the Dena'ina Athabascan name K'idazq'eni, literally'that, burning inside'. Mount Spurr, the highest volcano of the Aleutian arc, is a large lava dome constructed at the center of a 5 km-wide horseshoe-shaped caldera, open to the south; the volcano lies 80.87 miles west of NE of Chakachamna Lake. The caldera was formed by a late-Pleistocene or early Holocene debris avalanche and associated pyroclastic flows that destroyed an ancestral Spurr volcano; the debris avalanche traveled more than 15.5 miles to the SE, the resulting deposit contains blocks as large as 100m in diameter. Several ice-carved post-caldera domes lie in the caldera. Present Mt. Spurr is the highest of the post-caldera.
This regrown summit peak of Spurr experienced a heating event in 2004 which created a small crater lake. By 2008, the summit crater had cooled enough to have begun to have accumulated significant amounts of snow again; the youngest post-caldera dome, Crater Peak, formed at the breached southern end of the caldera about 3.2 km south of Spurr, has been the source of about 40 identified Holocene tephra layers. Spurr's two historical eruptions, from Crater Peak in 1953 and 1992, deposited ash on the city of Anchorage. Crater Peak has a summit crater, itself breached along the south rim. Before the 1992 eruption, a small crater lake occupied the bottom of Crater Peak's crater; as with other Alaskan volcanoes, the proximity of Spurr to major trans-Pacific aviation routes means that an eruption of this volcano can disrupt air travel. Volcanic ash can cause jet engines to fail. On July 26, 2004, the AVO raised the "Color Concern Code" at Spurr from green to yellow due to an increasing number of earthquakes.
Earthquakes beneath a volcano may indicate the movement of magma preceding a volcanic eruption, but the earthquakes might die out without an eruption. In the first week of August 2004, the AVO reported the presence of a collapse pit, filled with water forming a new crater lake, in the ice and snow cover on the summit; this is a third volcano occurred in this pit may have been caused by an increase in heat flow through the summit lava dome. On May 3, 2005, a debris flow was observed in webcam images, as well as by a nearby pilot. A subsequent overflight revealed that much of the sitting pond within the melt hole had drained away, a notable depth. Volcano World article about Spurr Mount Spurr Webcam
William Healey Dall
William Healey Dall was an American naturalist, a prominent malacologist, one of the earliest scientific explorers of interior Alaska. He described many mollusks of the Pacific Northwest of America, was for many years America's preeminent authority on living and fossil mollusks. Dall made substantial contributions to ornithology and invertebrate zoology and cultural anthropology and paleontology. In addition he carried out meteorological observations in Alaska for the Smithsonian Institution. Dall was born in Massachusetts, his father Charles Henry Appleton Dall, a Unitarian minister, moved in 1855 to India as a missionary. His family however stayed in Massachusetts, where Dall's mother Caroline Wells Healey was a teacher, transcendentalist and pioneer feminist. In 1862, Dall's father, on one of his few brief visits home, brought his son in contact with some naturalists at Harvard University, where he had studied, in 1863, when Dall graduated from high school, he took a keen interest in mollusks.
In 1863 he became a pupil of Louis Agassiz of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, in natural science. He encouraged Dall's interest in a field still in its infancy, he studied anatomy and medicine under Jeffries Wyman and Dr. Daniel Brainerd. Dall took a job in Chicago. There he met the famous naturalist Robert Kennicott at the Chicago Academy of Sciences Museum. In 1865 the Western Union Telegraph Expedition was mounted to find a possible route for a telegraph line between North America and Russia by way of the Bering Sea. Kennicott was selected as the scientist for this expedition, with the influence of Spencer Fullerton Baird of the Smithsonian Institution, he took Dall as his assistant, because of his expertise in invertebrates and fish. Aboard the clipper Nightingale, under the command of the whaler and naturalist Charles Melville Scammon, Dall explored the coast of Siberia, with first several stops in Alaska. Scammon Bay, Alaska was named after Charles Scammon. In 1866, Dall continued this expedition to Siberia.
On a stop at St. Michael, Alaska, he was informed that Kennicott had died of a heart attack on May 13, 1866, while prospecting a possible telegraph route along the Yukon River. Set on finishing Kennicott's Yukon River work, Dall stayed on the Yukon during the winter; because of cancellation of his own expedition, he had to continue this work at his own expense until autumn 1868. Meanwhile, in 1867, the U. S. had acquired Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. This was uncharted country, with a fauna and flora still waiting to be explored and described, a task Dall took upon himself as a surveyor-scientist. Back at the Smithsonian in Washington, he started cataloguing the thousands of specimens he had collected during this expedition. In 1870 he published his account of his pioneering travels in Alaska and Its Resources, describing the Yukon River, the geography and resources of Alaska, its inhabitants. In 1870, Dall was appointed Acting Assistant to the United States Coast Survey. Dall went on several more reconnaissance and survey missions to Alaska between 1871 and 1874.
His official mission was to survey the Alaska coast, but he took the opportunity to acquire specimens, which he collected in great numbers. In 1871–72, he surveyed the Aleutian Islands. In 1874 aboard the U. S. Coast Survey schooner Yukon, he anchored in Lituya Bay, which he compared to Yosemite Valley in California, had it retained its glaciers, he sent his collection of mollusks and fossils to Louis Agassiz at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. In 1877–1878 he was associated with the Blake expeditions", along the East Coast of the United States; the major publications on the Blake Expeditions were published in the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Harvard. Dall was in Europe in August 1878, sent to a meeting in Dublin of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he took the opportunity to meet European scholars. Dall married Annette Whitney in 1880, they travelled to Alaska on their honeymoon. After arriving in Sitka, his wife went back home to Washington, D. C, he began his final survey season aboard the schooner Yukon.
He was accompanied, by the ichthyologist Tarleton Hoffman Bean. In 1882 Dall contributed for the Republican Congressional Campaign CommitteeIn 1884, Dall left the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, having written over 400 papers. In 1885 he transferred to the newly created U. S. Geological Survey, he was assigned to the U. S. National Museum as honorary curator of invertebrate paleontology, studying recent and fossil mollusks, he would hold this position until his death. As part of his work for the U. S. Geological Survey, Dall made trips to study geology and fossils: in the Northwest, in Florida, Georgia. In 1899 he and an elite crew of scientists, such as the expert in glaciology John Muir, were members of the Harriman Alaska Expedition, aboard the S. S. George W. Elder, along the glacial fjords of the Alaska Coast, the Aleutian Islands and to the Bering Strait. Many new genera and species were described. Dall was the undisputed expert on Alaska, the scientists aboard were surprised by his erudition, both in biology and in respect to the cultures of the native Alaskan peoples.
His contributions to the reports of the Harriman Alaska Expedition, include a chapter Description and Exploration of Alaska, V