Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
2010 United States Census
The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010; the census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired; the population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000; as required by the United States Constitution, the U. S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U. S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U. S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code. On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.
More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U. S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010; the number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today." The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up". In December 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau delivered population information to the U. S. President for apportionment, in March 2011, complete redistricting data was delivered to states. Identifiable information will be available in 2082; the Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information.
The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – What is your telephone number? What is Person 1's name? What is Person 1's sex? What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth? Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? What is Person 1's race? Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? The form included space to repeat all of these questions for up to twelve residents total. In contrast to the 2000 census, an Internet response option was not offered, nor was the form available for download. Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey; the survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years.
A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, no household will receive it more than once every five years. In June 2009, the U. S. Census Bureau announced. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option; when noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples; the 2010 census cost $13 billion $42 per capita. Operational costs were $5.4 billion under the $7 billion budget. In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office noted that the cost of conducting the census has doubled each decade since 1970. In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, at that time, had estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion. In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the census operational costs came in under budget.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U. S. househol
Alaska's at-large congressional district
Since becoming a U. S. state in 1959, Alaska has been entitled to one member in the United States House of Representatives, elected in the State's sole, at-large congressional district. Based on area, Alaska's congressional district is by far the largest congressional district in the United States, is one of the largest electoral districts in the world. Since March 6, 1973, Republican Don Young has been the member for the district; the district was created when Alaska achieved statehood on January 3, 1959, to elect Alaska's single member. Since Alaska has had a single congressional district. Election results from presidential races: This district is considered safely Republican because no Democrat has been elected since 1972 and because incumbent Don Young has faced a serious challenge since 1992 when he beat Mayor John Devens by 4%. Although allegations of corruption against Young led Democrats to target this seat in 2008, Young retained his seat. Source: "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2008. Since the death of Howard Wallace Pollock on January 9, 2011, there have been no living former members of the U. S. House of Representatives from Alaska's at-large congressional district; the most serving Representative to die was Nick Begich, who disappeared in a plane crash on October 16, 1972, while in office. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
Spruce Island (Alaska)
Spruce Island is an island in the Kodiak Archipelago of the Gulf of Alaska in the US state of Alaska. It lies just across the Narrow Strait. Spruce Island has a land area of 46.066 km² and a population of 242 as of the 2000 census in its only city, Ouzinkie, in the southwestern part of the island. From 1808 to 1818, Spruce Island was the hermitage of Herman of Alaska glorified as a saint and considered the patron saint of the Orthodox Church in the Americas; the island is a site of pilgrimages by Orthodox Christians. In 2008, researchers led by the mayor of the northern Siberian city of Yakutsk alleged that the island should still belong to the Russian Orthodox Church because the Russian Empire had no authority to sell the church's land as part of the Alaska Purchase
Time in the United States
Time in the United States, by law, is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states and its possessions, with most of the United States observing daylight saving time for the spring and fall months. The time zone boundaries and DST observance are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Official and precise timekeeping services are provided by two federal agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology; the clocks run by these services are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations. It is the combination of the time zone and daylight saving rules, along with the timekeeping services, which determines the legal civil time for any U. S. location at any moment. Before the adoption of four standard time zones for the continental United States, many towns and cities set their clocks to noon when the sun passed their local meridian, pre-corrected for the equation of time on the date of observation, to form local mean solar time.
Noon occurred at different times but time differences between distant locations were noticeable prior to the 19th century because of long travel times and the lack of long-distance instant communications prior to the development of the telegraph. The use of local solar time became awkward as railways and telecommunications improved. American railroads maintained many different time zones during the late 1800s; each train station set its own clock making it difficult to coordinate train schedules and confusing passengers. Time calculation became a serious problem for people traveling by train, according to the Library of Congress; every city in the United States used a different time standard so there were more than 300 local sun times to choose from. Time zones were therefore a compromise, relaxing the complex geographic dependence while still allowing local time to be approximate with mean solar time. Railroad managers tried to address the problem by establishing 100 railroad time zones, but this was only a partial solution to the problem.
Weather service chief Cleveland Abbe had needed to introduce four standard time zones for his weather stations, an idea which he offered to the railroads. Operators of the new railroad lines needed a new time plan that would offer a uniform train schedule for departures and arrivals. Four standard time zones for the continental United States were introduced at noon on November 18, 1883, when the telegraph lines transmitted time signals to all major cities. In October 1884, the International Meridian Conference at Washington DC adopted a proposal which stated that the prime meridian for longitude and timekeeping should be one that passes through the centre of the transit instrument at the Greenwich Observatory in the United Kingdom; the conference therefore established the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as the world's time standard. The US time-zone system grew from this, in which all zones referred back to GMT on the prime meridian. In 1960, the International Radio Consultative Committee formalized the concept of Coordinated Universal Time, which became the new international civil time standard.
UTC is, within about 1 second, mean solar time at 0°. UTC does not observe daylight saving time. For most purposes, UTC is considered interchangeable with GMT, but GMT is no longer defined by the scientific community. UTC is one of several related successors to GMT. Standard time zones in the United States are defined at the federal level by law 15 USC §260; the federal law establishes the transition dates and times at which daylight saving time occurs, if observed. It is the authority of the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the states, to determine which regions will observe which of the standard time zones and if they will observe daylight saving time; as of August 9, 2007, the standard time zones are defined in terms of hourly offsets from UTC. Prior to this they were based upon the mean solar time at several meridians 15° apart west of Greenwich. Only the full-time zone names listed below are official. View the standard time zone boundaries here; the United States uses nine standard time zones.
As defined by US law they are: From east to west, the four time zones of the contiguous United States are: Eastern Time Zone, which comprises the states on the Atlantic coast and the eastern two thirds of the Ohio Valley. Central Time Zone, which comprises the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Valley, most of the Great Plains. Mountain Time Zone, which comprises the states and portions of states that include the Rocky Mountains and the western quarter of the Great Plains. Pacific Time Zone, which comprises the states on the Pacific coast, plus Nevada and the Idaho panhandle. Alaska Time Zone, which comprises most of the state of Alaska. Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone, which includes Hawaii and most of the length of the Aleutian Islands chain. Samoa Time Zone, which comprises American Samoa. Chamorro Time Zone, which comprises Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Atlantic Time Zone, which comprises Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; some United States Minor Outlying Islands are outside the time zones defined by 15 U.
S. C. § exist in waters defined by Nautical time. In practice, military crews may
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge in the Kodiak Archipelago in southwestern Alaska, United States. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge includes the southwestern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, Uganik Island, the Red Peaks area of Afognak Island and all of Ban Island in the archipelago, it encompasses 1,990,418 acres. The refuge is administered from offices in Kodiak; the refuge contains about 100 streams. It is a spawning ground for all five species of Pacific Ocean salmon, Dolly Varden, several other fish species; the refuge has only six native species of mammals: Kodiak bear, red fox, river otter, little brown bat and tundra vole. The non-native mammals Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goat, Roosevelt elk, marten, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, beaver were introduced to the archipelago between the 1920s and 1950s and are now hunted and trapped. An estimated 2,300 brown bears inhabit the refuge, an estimated 1200 bald eagles nest here every year; the climate of the refuge is that of southern Alaska and rainy.
Many areas in the refuge are densely forested with Sitka spruce at lower elevations. There are grasslands in drier areas, shrub habitats dominated by dense alder, alpine habitats at higher elevations; the refuge contains several small glaciers. The refuge has no road access from the outside but contains part of a private road used for access to the Terror Lake hydroelectric facility. Public use of this road is prohibited. List of largest National Wildlife Refuges Official site: Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
Chirikof Island is located in the Gulf of Alaska 80 miles southwest of Kodiak Island. Chirikof Island consists of 33,000 acres of sedges. Treeless, it lies west of the western tree line in Alaska; the island is shaped like a webbed duck foot with the heel to the north and the webbing to the south. The seas around Chirikof are treacherous and the island has a history of shipwrecks; the south shore has a wide beach suitable for cautious watercraft landings. The island is open to general public access. Commercial carriers need a permit to visit; the first human inhabitants of the island were the Old Islanders, 4000-2000 BP A subsistence village existed up to the late 19th century, when it was succeeded first by fox farming and by cattle farming. There has been continuous human habitation of Chirikof, relieved by short periods of abandonment. In 1980, the island became part of the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge; the only inhabitants now are a herd of 700-800 feral cattle. Cattle have been present on the island since the late 19th century.
In the 21st century, the herd has become the subject of an ongoing controversy between a small group of Kodiak ranchers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge. Vitus Bering, captain of the St. Peter, Alexei Chirikov, captain of the St. Paul, sailed from Kamchatka in 1741 with charts that called the island Tummenoi, a Russian word meaning foggy; the log of the St. Peter recorded a sighting of the island on August 2, 1741, St. Stephen's day. For this reason, Bering renamed the island St. Stephen Island. Bering's ship and Chirikof's had become separated early in the voyage and Chirikof never saw the island. Nonetheless, in 1794, explorer George Vancouver renamed the island Chirikof Island, observing that Capt. Chirikof's "labors in the arduous task of discovery do not appear to have been thus commemorated." Alutiiqs of the area still call. In 1799 the Russian-American Company was given a charter by Tsar Paul I to govern the territory of Alaska and manage the exploitation of its resources.
The company had established a permanent colony for European settlers on Kodiak Island. Supported at first by the infamous fur trade, the Kodiak colonists pursued cattle ranching and fox farming. During the Russian period a population of 60-100 villagers lived a subsistence life on nearby Chirikof; the villagers were Alutiiq, Tlingit and western Europeans. Some were the Alaskan word for mixed race, they worshiped in a small Russian orthodox church. The village was abandoned soon after the Russian church called the only priest on the island back to Kodiak in 1870. Alaska Commercial Company acquired the assets of the Russian-American Company in 1867 when Russia sold the territory to America. In 1887, an ACC subsidiary was formed to breed blue foxes on Chirikof. Voles were imported to feed the foxes. A small herd of cattle was brought in to provide meat for the American caretakers, who disliked seal meat. From time to time - 1892, 1912 - the company shipped additional cattle to the island; the cattle were not landed.
Once on land, the cattle thrived unattended on the nutritious island grasses. They lost many traits of domestication, they do not herd up. The late Dr. Lydia Black, a leading scholar of the Russian-American period in Alaska, rebutted the legend that there was once a Russian penal colony on Chirikof. Among those who perpetuated that myth was artist and writer Henry Wood Elliott, who wrote and alarmingly of the fur trade slaughter but fictitiously of much else. Few people at the time were knowledgeable enough to refute Elliott's fantasies. One who could was Capt. Arthur Morris, administrator of Alaska in 1877, who once stated, "Don't believe a word Elliott says except about fur seals." The beef industry on Chirikof began in earnest in 1925 and continued as late as 1983, when a $875,000 loan from the Alaska Agricultural Loan Board brought 600 new head to the island. The original venture was the brain-child of an Iowa farm boy with a law degree named Jack McCord. McCord formed the Chirikof Cattle Company and labored from 1925 to 1950 to build a successful beef industry on the island.
The story is a long saga of shipwrecks, plane crashes, unruly feral cattle, unfulfilled contracts, spoiled meat and good money thrown after bad. A succession of hopeful owners since McCord has been unable to profitably market the beef from this remote island. Ranch workers report that the meat is "inedible," tough and hard to digest; as part of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, certain state lands reverted to federal ownership. In 1980, Chirikof Island was added to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge; the management plan for the refuge entails restoring the island's native species and requires removal of the cattle, which overgraze the land and damage bird habitat. However, the most recent attempt in 2003 to remove a small part of the herd - 37 head, by barge - resulted in injuries to the animals that attracted the attention of the Humane Society of the United States. Additionally, legal issues have delayed plans to remove the herd and restore the island as a bird sanctuary.
Ford, Where the Sea Breaks Its Back Davidson, The Tracks and Landfalls of Bering and Chirikof Golder, Bering's Voyages Waxell, The American Expedition Steller, Journal of a Voyage with Bering Beaglehole, The Life of Captai