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Trooper Stalker Facts

Trooper Cronin on patrol.

Trooper Cronin on patrol. (View larger version)

Photograph by PSG Films/ Jason McConnehey

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  • Noatak, Alaska has just under 500 residents.

  • Noatak was established as a fishing and hunting camp in the 19th century, and the area’s rich resources facilitated its development into a permanent settlement.

  • In 1880, the U.S. census listed Noatak as Noatagamut, a phrase meaning “inland river people.”

  • Noatak is Inupiat Eskimo, and the economy is based mainly on subsistence. Residents hunt and fish for caribou, moose, waterfowl, chum salmon and whitefish.

  • The City of Wasilla in the Mat-Su Borough has around 8,000 residents.

  • There are multiple stories about how Wasilla derived its name. One source says it was named after respected local Dena'ina Indian, Chief Wasilla (also known as Chief Vasili). Other sources say the chief derived his name from the Russian language, and that “Wasilla” is a variation of the Russian name “Vasili.”

  • “Wasilla” is said to mean “breath of air” in the Dena'ina Athabascan Indian dialect.

  • Through World War II, Wasilla was a supply base for gold and coal mining in the region.

  • Dall sheep live in Alaska’s mountain ranges.

  • Dall sheep grow their infamous curled horns during spring, summer, and early fall. In the late fall or winter, horn growth slows and eventually ceases. This stop-and-start growth process means the horns have a pattern of rings called annuli.

  • Dall sheep can weigh up to 300 pounds. They are herbivorous, eating plants like lichen, moss and grass.

  • Dall sheep are the world’s only species of wild white sheep.

  • Dall sheep are found in eight federally protected areas in Alaska. Outside of Alaska, they are found only in the wild in Canada.

  • Annuli—growth rings along the length of a Dall sheep horn—can help determine the sheep’s age. Male Dalls as old as 16 years have been recorded, but in general, a 12 year old sheep is considered quite old.

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