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Armed and Bootlegging Facts

Troopers Massie and Brent on river patrol.

Troopers Massie and Brent on river patrol. (View larger version)

Photograph by PSG Films/ Josh Becker

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  • Home-brew is a cloudy, alcoholic liquid often mixed with fruit juice. In some rural Alaskan communities, the high rate of alcohol abuse has led voters to ban not just homebrew and other alcohol, but also the possession of homebrew supplies.

  • It’s a misdemeanor offense in some Alaskan villages to possess yeast and sugar in pound quantities with intent to make alcohol. This local effort to control the ingredients for making homebrew is similar to federal and state laws that limit a person’s purchase of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.

  • As of 2011, 34 communities in Alaska have voted to ban the possession, sale, importation and manufacturing of alcohol.

  • Chinook salmon, the largest of all salmon, average about 40 pounds, but can weigh 120.

  • The Deshka River is considered the most popular for fishing king salmon in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

  • Authorities have dismantled multiple meth labs in the Matanuska-Susitna area.

  • It can cost thousands of dollars to clean a meth lab of its hazardous materials. The costs are related to the size of the lab.

  • Hazmat teams who clean up meth labs undergo special training in order to avoid injury. Inhaling or touching the chemicals can greatly damage a person’s health.

  • Producing meth puts not only people in the lab in danger, but also neighbors and the environment. The waste is extremely toxic.

  • It’s estimated that each pound of meth manufactured produces five to six pounds of toxic meth waste.

  • The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is one of Alaska’s fastest-growing areas. One reason is its proximity to Anchorage, which is about 40 miles south of the Mat-Su. It’s estimated that one-third of residents travel to Anchorage for their jobs.


  • The Mat-Su Valley has many excellent recreation sites for hiking and fishing.


  • The Mat-Su Valley’s popular annual Alaska State Fair draws approximately 300,000 visitors. The fair began in 1936 with a number of attractions, including hundreds of agricultural entries. Today, the fair is known for its gardens, colorful flowers and giant vegetables—in 2010, a new state record was set with a 39-inch bean. Other events include the “Last Frontier Dutch Oven Cook-off” and a moose calling contest.

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