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No matter what the conditions in Alaska, the troopers are armed to face these elements. Trooper Calhoun is seen questioning a spect for a DUI.

No matter what the conditions in Alaska, the troopers are armed to face these elements. Trooper Calhoun is seen questioning a suspect for a DUI. (View larger version)

Photograph by PSG Films/ Ryan Cahill

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  • In 1741, Danish explorer Vitus Bering encountered Alaska on a voyage from Siberia. Since then, Russian culture has had a major influence throughout Alaska.

  • It’s estimated that today, Alaska Natives make up about 16 percent of Alaska’s residents. They represent a significant segment of the population in more than 200 rural villages and communities.

  • The Russian Orthodox Church remains a crucial aspect of Native culture in Southwest, South central and Southeast Alaska.

  • Gold rushes gave many Alaskan communities their start, including the state’s capital of Juneau.

  • It’s possible today to pan for gold throughout Alaska.

  • More than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the largest of America’s states.

  • Every bear has its own personal “space”—the distance within which it feels threatened. Some bears are more tolerant than others, but if you stray into the bear’s space, it may react aggressively.

  • To avoid treading in a bear’s person space, use long lenses to photograph them.

  • To avoid attracting bears while camping, cook away from the tent. It’s best to hang food out of the reach of bears, or to store it in airtight or specially designed bear-proof containers.

  • To avoid unwanted bear visits, keep a clean camp. Both food and garbage attract bears. Burning garbage in a fire and taking the remains with you is best; burying garbage doesn’t work. Bears have a great sense of smell and are good diggers.

  • Alaska is known as “bear country” for good reason: all three species of North American bears flourish in the state.

  • Brown/grizzly bears can be found from the islands of southeastern Alaska to the Arctic. Black bears live in most of Alaska's forests. Polar bears frequent the pack ice and tundra of extreme northern and western Alaska.

  • Many villages and cities in Alaska are accessible only by sea or air. Because of this, prices in Alaska for even basic essentials like milk and gasoline are often twice as high as those in the Lower 48.

  • Alaska boasts local delicacies like king crab, reindeer sausage and salmon jerky.

  • Alaska’s regulations stipulate that pots used to take Dungeness crab must have at least two escape rings that each are not less than four and three-eighths inches, inside diameter. The rings must be located on opposite sides of the pot and the upper half of the vertical plane of the pot.
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