June 25, 2013

Grizzly-pendence Day Facts

  • Known as "bear country," Alaska has all three species of North American bears: Polar, Brown/Grizzly, and Black.

  • The village of Alakanuk is just 15 miles from the Bering Sea and is part of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Alakanuk sits on a maze of watercourses at the east entrance of Alakanuk Pass, the major southern channel of the Yukon River. Fitting for its geography, Alakanuk is a Yup'ik word meaning "wrong way."

  • 95 percent of Alakanuk's population of 683 is American Indian or Alaska Native.

  • North Pacific right whales became severely depleted by commercial whaling. They are among the world's most endangered mammals and it's believed that just two populations exist: one in the western North Pacific off Russia, and the other in the eastern North Pacific off Alaska.

  • Whale oil has served many functions throughout the centuries, including fuel for lamps and as a fat in margarine and soap. It was crucial in making nitroglycerin for explosives in both world wars.

  • Dillingham sits at the extreme northern end of Nushagak Bay in northern Bristol Bay. The average temperatures in summer range from 37° F to 66° F, and in winter can fall as low as 4° F. The city gets an average of 65 inches of snow every year.

  • Although traditionally a Yup'ik Eskimo area with Russian influences, today Dillingham has a varied population of non-Natives and Natives.

  • Archaeologists have dated house remnants in Unalakleet from as early as 200 B.C.

  • For centuries, Native Alaskans have hunted a variety of animals for meat, including whale, caribou, walrus, seal and geese.

  • A qulliq is an Inuit lamp. Historically made with a stone base and lit by whale or seal oil, the lamps provided light and warmth. Caring for the lamps was traditionally a woman's task, and it's been said young women couldn't marry until they were able to tend a qulliq.

  • In 2010 in Anchorage, there were 813 vehicle thefts (attempted and successful).

  • The average speeding ticket in the U.S. costs about $150—and around $300 in higher insurance fees over the next several years.

  • U.S. drivers pay millions every year in traffic tickets. But the costs can be higher than money: speeding leads to more accidents and a higher number of fatalities.

  • Law enforcement officers are most likely to be injured during disturbance calls.

  • Seward's population booms every Fourth of July, with parties, fireworks, parades, and the Mount Marathon footrace.

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