Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a national historical park operated by the National Park Service that seeks to commemorate the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. Though the gold fields that were the ultimate goal of the stampeders lay in the Yukon Territory, the park comprises staging areas for the trek there and the routes leading in its direction. There are four units, including three in Municipality of Skagway Borough, Alaska and a fourth in the Pioneer Square National Historic District in Seattle, Washington. A fuller appreciation of the story of the Klondike Gold Rush requires exploration and discovery on both sides of the Canada–United States border. National historic sites in Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon, as well as in British Columbia, complete the story. In 1998, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park joined with Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site, "The Thirty Mile" stretch of the Yukon River to create Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park, allowing for an integrated binational experience.
The Skagway unit includes much of the historic downtown such as buildings owned and restored by NPS and others, some leased today for ordinary commercial purposes to recreate the city's bustling activity. The visitor center in Skagway is located in railroad depot building at Second and Broadway and is a good place to begin tours either led by a ranger or self-guided. Junior rangers can plan their activities further and earn their badges further up Broadway at the Pantheon Saloon. White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Broadway Depot. Corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway. Now serving as the park's Visitors Center and Headquarters, the depot was the first building the railway built for this purpose, completed in December 1898; the structure served this purpose at least until the 1950s. However, together with the adjoining administration building and the railway itself, these were taken over by the U. S. Army Railway Operating Battalion from 1942 to 1946 to supply construction of the Alaska Highway, the first land route to Alaska under construction in adjoining British Columbia and Yukon Territory as part of the war effort.
It was the only commercial railway in the United States taken over for this purpose. The building was transferred to NPS in 1976 with restoration completed in 1984, returning its appearance to the 1908-1915 time period. White Pass & Yukon Route Railway Administration Building. 2nd Avenue, east of Broadway. The bottom floor houses the park museum. Located next to the depot, the Daily Alaskan noted during the year of its completion in its May 3, 1900 edition that it the railway's headquarters was "by far the finest wooden structure in the city"; as with the depot, it was vacated in 1969, transferred to NPS in 1976, with restoration completed in 1984. Martin Itjen's House. Broadway between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue; the building serves as the NPS and Parks Canada Trail Center, is one of the first structures visitors to the park arriving by ship see. It stood on piers by the wharf, completed in 1902, is reminiscent of homes built for railway employees. In 1922, it was sold to Martin Itjen who had learned to profit from the summer tourist trade by greeting passers-by and selling tours of the town's attractions.
Relocation of railway tracks in 1946 isolated the house, which after two intermediate moves ended up on Sixth. NPS acquired the structure in 1978, moving it to its current position 300 feet west of its original location. Restoration was completed in 1991 to return the home to the 1921-1941 period. Jeff. Smith's Parlor. 2nd Avenue west of Broadway. The building was most famously used as a base of operations by con man and outlaw Jefferson "Soapy" Smith who ended up in Alaska by way of Denver, he and his gang defrauded and tricked miners for only three months before Smith was shot to death in spectacular fashion on the Skagway wharf. Martin Itjen bought the saloon in 1922, outfitted it as a museum with animatronic figures of Soapy Smith and his associates. After selling it in 1950, the museum remained in operation until 1986. Donated to NPS in 2007, the building was refurbished to its old glory as it would have been seen by visitors back in 1967, reopened in April 2016. Verbauwhede's Cigar Store and Cribs.
Broadway between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue. Frederick Verbauwhede opened a store selling cigars and confections here in 1898, in 1902 moved one-story "cribs" behind the store from their previous location between Fourth and Fifth where they housed prostitutes. A gunsmith, gas station and travel agency occupied the premises at one time or another through 1977 when NPS purchased the buildings. Restored in 1986, the cigar store is leased to a private business while the cribs are used by the park's law enforcement operations. Boas Tailor & Furrier Shop. Broadway between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue; as the name implies, it was though a furrier, topped by a traditional high wooden false front as seen in other western towns in the United States and Canada. After a series of other business, it was sold to NPS in 1978 with period restoration completed in 1986, it is now leased to private business to encourage a feeling of Skagway as a center of bustling business activity. Pacific Clipper Line Office. Broadway near 3rd Avenue.
First serving the considerable steamship trade that brought passengers to Skagway that lack other means of access, the building became a liquor store before Skagway was hit by municipal prohibition in 1916 and other uses were found for it. NPS acquired the building in 1976, after restoration began leasing it to private business in 1990. Mascot Saloon. Corner of Broadway and 3rd Avenue; the saloon opened in 1898 an
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun
Innoko National Wildlife Refuge
The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge of the United States located in western Alaska. It consists of 3,850,481 acres, it is the fifth-largest national wildlife refuge in the United States. The refuge is administered from offices in Galena; the refuge was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The northern part of the refuge, called Kaiyuh Flats, is adjacent to the Yukon River southwest of Galena, it contains 751,000 acres. The southern part contains 3,099,000 acres of land surrounding the Innoko River; the land is swampy and is the nesting area for hundreds of thousands of birds including ospreys, northern hawk-owls, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, common ravens, short-eared owls, red-tailed hawks. Mammalian species that habitat this refuge are brown and black bears, wolf packs, Canadian lynx, porcupine, caribou, river otter, red fox, wolverine and mink; the refuge contains no roads. Air access can be arranged in McGrath. Official website
Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge
The Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska whose use is regulated as an ecological-protection measure. It stretches along the southern coast of the Alaska Peninsula, between the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge on its east and the end of the peninsula at False Pass in the west. In between, however, it is broken into sections by lands of the Aniakchak National Monument and Izembek National Wildlife Refuge; the refuge is administered from offices in King Salmon and was established to conserve Alaska Peninsula brown bears, moose, marine mammals, other migratory birds and fish, to comply with treaty obligations. The refuge was established on December 2, 1980, by the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act following designation as a national wildlife monument in 1978 by the President Jimmy Carter. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1983, the Fish and Wildlife Service undertook the responsibility to manage the Becharof Refuge, along with the Ugashik and Chignik units of the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge.
In 1989 the park area was affected by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill which devastated the Alaska Peninsula. In an effort to determine species presence, habitat use, migratory patterns, extensive studies have been conducted in the refuge. Biologists have studied extensively in the biologically rich Naknek River basin which provides an important habitat for thousands of ducks and swans. From mid-March through mid-May, refuge biologists monitor waterfowl from established points from Naknek Lake to Kvichak Bay in Naknek. Biologists have been working in the area since 1992 to count waterfowl by species four times a week. Species common to the refuge include common merganser, common goldeneye, tundra swan, greater white-fronted goose, northern pintail and Eurasian wigeon, American green-winged teal, Canada goose, greater scaup, northern shoveler, red-breasted merganser, black scoter, long-tailed duck. Working with Boreal Partners in Flight, the Institute for Bird Populations, Earthwatch, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service undertook comprehensive landbird studies at Mother Goose Lake from 1994 through to 2001.
Between 1994 and 1999 over 110 Earthwatch volunteers used the scheme to educate themselves in bird biology. In conjunction with the National Audubon Society, the park has hosted an annual Christmas Bird Count between December 14 and January 5 annually since 1986 to register birds in the corridor from the Kvichak Bay beach at Naknek to Lake Camp at the mouth of Naknek Lake; the refuge has sponsored a North American Migration Count on the second Saturday in May since 1998. The refuge lies in the Alaska Peninsula, it spans Kodiak Island and Lake and Peninsula Borough. The Alaska Peninsula Refuge contains a number of geologic and scenic features, with a mixture of volcanic activity juxtaposed alongside glacial valleys and coasts under erosion; the refuge contains the Chiginagak and Veniaminof volcanoes, the latter of, one of Alaska’s active volcanoes, last erupted in 1995. The crater, 5.2 miles in diameter contains a 25-square-mile ice field, making it the most extensive crater glacier in North America.
In 1967, Mount Veniaminof was designated as a National Natural Landmark. The Upper Sandy River has its source at Mount Veniaminof and flows down to form a delta above Sandy Lake. In contrast to the volcanic landscape of the refuge, the Pacific coast of the protected area is characterised by rugged cliffs, bays and streams. In particular the Castle Cape Fjords in the Chignik area is an pronounced feature, with a strong erosion by the sea, with rocks shaded in contrasting dark and light tones. Notable streams drain into Agripina Bay and Port Wrangell from the glaciers and through the valleys of the refuge; the park supports a diversity of fish and wildlife and are an important nesting site for seabirds such as puffins, cormorants and guillemots, emperor geese, harlequin ducks, Steller's eider, notably the bald eagle. All five species of Pacific salmon spawn including the commercially productive sockeye salmon run into the Chignik system. Sea lions, gray whales, harbor seals and sea otters can all be found along the coast.
Alaskan brown bears are a common sight in the coastal meadows in spring and summer when they come to feed on the spawning salmon. As many as 500 bears may inhabit the Black Lake-Chignik Lake Area during August, making it one of the most dense seasonal concentrations of grizzly bears in North America. Caribou and moose are under protection in the park; the moose in particular inhabit the Mother Goose Lake and the lines of the King Salmon River supporting populations of wolf packs, wolverine, river otter, two species of fox, snowshoe hare and Canadian lynx. Alaska Peninsula NWR official website Thumbnail and links for a dramatic public-domain high-elevation photo
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is an American national park and preserve managed by the National Park Service in south central Alaska; the park and preserve were established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The protected areas are included in an International Biosphere Reserve and are part of the Kluane/Wrangell–St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek UNESCO World Heritage Site; the park and preserve form the largest area managed by the National Park Service with a total of 13,175,799 acres, an expanse that could encapsulate a total of six Yellowstone National Parks. The park includes a large portion of the Saint Elias Mountains, which include most of the highest peaks in the United States and Canada, yet are within 10 miles of tidewater, one of the highest reliefs in the world. Wrangell–St. Elias borders on Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve to the east and approaches another American national park to the south, Glacier Bay; the chief distinction between park and preserve lands is that sport hunting is prohibited in the park and permitted in the preserve.
In addition, 9,078,675 acres of the park are designated as the largest single wilderness in the United States. Wrangell–St. Elias National Monument was designated on December 1, 1978, by President Jimmy Carter using the Antiquities Act, pending final legislation to resolve the allotment of public lands in Alaska. Establishment as a national park and preserve followed the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980; the park has long cold winters and a short summer season. Plate tectonics are responsible for the uplift of the mountain ranges; the park's extreme high point is Mount Saint Elias at 18,008 feet, the second tallest mountain in both the United States and Canada. The park has been shaped by the competing forces of glaciation. Mount Wrangell is one of several volcanoes in the western Wrangell Mountains. In the St. Elias Range, Mount Churchill has erupted explosively within the past 2,000 years; the park's glacial features include Malaspina Glacier, the largest piedmont glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, Nabesna Glacier, the world's longest valley glacier.
The Bagley Icefield covers much of the park's interior, which includes 60% of the permanently ice-covered terrain in Alaska. At the center of the park, the boomtown of Kennecott exploited one of the world's richest deposits of copper from 1903 to 1938, exposed by and in part incorporated into Kennicott Glacier; the abandoned mine buildings and mills comprise a National Historic Landmark district. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve includes the entire Wrangell range, the western portion of the Saint Elias Mountains and the eastern portion of the Chugach Mountains. Lesser ranges in the park or preserve include the Nutzotin Mountains, which are an extension of the Alaska Range, the Granite Range and the Robinson Mountains. Broad rivers run in glacial valleys between the ranges, including the Chitina River, Chisana River and the Nabesna River. All but the Chisana and Nabesna are tributaries to the Copper River, which flows along the western margin of the park and which has its headwaters within the park, at the Copper Glacier.
The park includes dozens of icefields. The Bagley Icefield covers portions of the St. Elias and Chugach ranges, Malaspina Glacier covers most of the southeastern extension of the park, with Hubbard Glacier at the park's extreme eastern boundary, the largest tidewater glacier in North America; the eastern boundary of the park is Alaska's border with Canada, where it is adjoined by Kluane National Park and Reserve. On the southeast the park is bounded by Tongass National Forest and the Gulf of Alaska; the remainder of the southern boundary follows the crest of the Chugach Mountains, adjoining Chugach National Forest. The western boundary is the Copper River, the northern boundary follows the Mentasta Mountains and borders Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Mount St. Elias is the second highest mountain in the United States. In total nine of the 16 highest peaks on U. S. soil are located in the park, along with North America's largest subpolar icefield, rivers, an active volcano, the historic Kennecott copper mines.
Both the St. Elias and Wrangell ranges have seen volcanic activity; the St. Elias volcanoes are considered extinct, but some of the volcanoes of the Wrangell Range have been active in Holocene time. Ten separate volcanoes have been documented in the western Wrangell Range, of which Mount Blackburn is the highest and Mount Wrangell is the most active. Mount St. Elias is situated on the border of Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Kluane National Park and Reserve. At 18,074 feet,Nearly 66 percent of park and preserve land is designated as wilderness. Wrangell–St. Elias Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness in the United States; the park region is divided between national park lands, which only allow subsistence hunting by local rural residents, preserve lands, which allow sport hunting by the general public. Preserve lands include the Chitina valley north of the river, two parts of the Copper River valley east of the river, most of the Chisana and Nabesna valleys, lands along Yakutat Bay.
The park is accessible by highway from Anchorage. Chartered aircraft fly into the park. Wrangell–St. Elias received 79,450 visitors in 2018; the park area includes a few small settlements. Nabesna and Chisana are in the nort
Noatak National Preserve
Noatak National Preserve is a United States National Preserve in northwestern Alaska, established to protect the Noatak River Basin. The Noatak River system, located just north of the Arctic Circle, is thought to be the last remaining complete river system in the United States that has not been altered by human activities; the roadless basin was proclaimed a United States National Monument in 1978 and a National Preserve in 1980 through the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Noatak National Preserve borders Kobuk Valley National Park on the south and borders Gates of the Arctic National Park on the east. Unlike the national parks that it borders, sport hunting is allowed in Noatak National Preserve; the preserve includes the transition zone from boreal forest to tundra near the southern edge of the preserve. The Noatak Basin is a transition zone for plants and animals between Arctic and subarctic environments; the lower portion of the Noatak valley has areas of boreal forest, but most vegetation is low-growing tundra species.
Alpine tundra occurs at high elevation, moist tundra, the most common condition, supports cottongrass, Labrador tea, mountain alder, dwarf birch and other tundra species at lower elevations. Boggy areas support bog rosemary and salmonberry. Wildlife of the Noatak tundra includes Alaskan moose, grizzly bears, black bears, wolf packs, Arctic foxes, Dall's sheep, vast herds of caribou numbering more than 230,000 individuals, a variety of birds. Larger birds include Canada geese, tundra swans, white-fronted geese and common, yellow-billed and Pacific loons. Predatory birds include rough-legged hawks and golden eagles; the central feature of the preserve is the Noatak River, is a breeding ground for a variety of commercially important fish. The most widespread salmon species is chum, pink and sockeye salmon are found as well. Several kinds of trout are found in deep lakes, with Arctic char and Arctic grayling the most common salmonids in the preserve. Burbot are found, as are nelma or sheefish, an important species for subsistence fisheries.
The Brooks Range has existed since Cretaceous time, is composed of shales and chert, with intrusions of igneous rocks from more recent volcanism. The valleys are composed of limestone and siltstone, with deposits of sand, gravel and clay. During the Wisconsonian glaciation the area as incompletely covered by ice, with higher regions glaciated. Permafrost exists in higher regions. Since Noatak is a national preserve, both subsistence hunting by local residents and sport hunting by outsiders are permitted in the preserve. If Noatak was a national park, only subsistence hunting would be allowed. Float trips on the Noatak River are a popular way to see the preserve. However, most trips on the Noatak River take place high on the river in Gates of the Arctic National Park from Twelve Mile Creek to Lake Matcherak. Longer trips can continue through the preserve, although the lower river's braided stream presents difficulties beyond Noatak village. There are a few rapids on the river of Class II+, although most of the river is Class I or Class II.
Float trip season runs from July, when the river thaws, to September. Biting insects are most prevalent in July; the 6,569,904-acre preserve extends westward from Gates of the Arctic National Park along the Brooks Range to the north and the Baird Mountains to the south, enclosing the valley of the Noatak River. It is bordered to the north by the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska; the lower valley of the Noatak is not part of the preserve, separating the preserve from Cape Krusenstern National Monument on the coast. The southeast corner of the preserve runs to the coastline at Hotham Inlet; the distance from the headwaters in Gates of the Arctic National Park to Noatak, Alaska is about 3,540 miles. Land ownership within the preserve is federal, with 289,973 acres owned by native corporations or under easements; the entire preserve is above the Arctic Circle. Summer weather can have high temperatures of 70 to 80 °F; the climate is more maritime and temperate on the western side of the park, with harsher, more extreme conditions in the east.
Archaeological investigations of the Noatak Valley have found artifacts at sites outside of the preserve. Little has been found within the preserve boundaries. A site just outside the preserve has been dated to 11,700 years before present. Discoveries at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve imply human occupation as far back as 13,000 years ago. Similar extrapolation from sites at Cape Krusenstern and at Onion Portage in the Kobuk Valley imply occupation in times. In historical times the Naupaktomiut portion of the Inupiat people lived in the lower Noatak valley and the Noatagmuit occupied the middle and upper valley. Hunters from the area of Kotzebue and the Kobuk valley visited the Noatak valley as well. Archaeological remains indicate the presence of villages at lake shores in the preserve during the 1600s, which are believed to have been disrupted by disease-induced population decline brought about by contact with Europeans; the lower Noatak was first explored in 1850 by men from the British survey ship HMS Plover.
More surveys took place in 1885. Prospectors arrived in 1898 as a consequence of the Klondike gold rush. In the early 1900s nearly all of the remaining people in the valley concentrated at Noatak. Noatak National Monument was proclaimed on December 1, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter using his authority under the Antiquities Act. Carter took the action after the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Ac