By Walter R. Borneman
The heritage of Alaska is stuffed with tales of recent land and new riches -- and ever current are new individuals with competing perspectives over how those assets may be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion name of "Gold!"; squaddies struggling with out a decisive bankruptcy in international battle; oil wildcatters searching for a unique form of mineral wealth; and continually on the center of those disputes is the query of the way the land is for use and via whom.Major issues contain Alaska Natives, exploration and climbing, mining rushes, railroads and aviation, army operations, and the clash pitting conservation opposed to improvement, with a focus at the present debate over oil drilling in ANWR.Some wish Alaska to stay static, others are within the forefront of switch. Alaska: Saga of a daring Land indicates that there are not any effortless solutions on each side and that Alaska will constantly be crossing the subsequent frontier.
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Extra resources for Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land--From Russian Fur Traders to the Gold Rush, Extraordinary Railroads, World War II, the Oil Boom, and the Fight Over ANWR
Elias (18,008 feet), the highest peak in the range in Alaska, is located on the Alaskan-Yukon border above the waters of Icy Bay. The mountain rises dramatically—and perpendicularly—less than twenty miles from sea level at Icy Bay. Before a thorough survey of Denali was undertaken, St. Elias was briefly thought to be the tallest peak on the continent. Less than thirty miles northeast of the pointy pyramid of St. Elias, the broad plateau of Mount Logan (19,432 feet) is the highpoint of Canada. On a clear day, Logan’s broad plateau and St.
Look at a relief map of North America, and here is a graphic example of the mountain-building forces of plate tectonics. In general, the Pacific plate has dug under the North American plate and pushed it upward, folding and buckling the earth’s crust in a process called subduction. For 350 of these miles, from the windswept slopes of Chilkoot and White Passes southward to the southern tip of Dall Island, the connecting thread at the foot of the range is the Inside Passage, the tangled, meandering system of waterways that runs the length of southeast Alaska.
Much of interior Alaska sits in the rain shadow of the Alaska Range. Here, rainfall averages less than a dozen inches per year, although what rain and snow does fall has little place to go given the spongelike muskeg and watery wetlands of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Valleys. Elevation plays a part, of course, and in June it can be below zero on the summit of Denali and ninety degrees on the banks of the Chena River in Fairbanks. Winter is another matter, however, with Fairbanks routinely reporting below-zero temperatures.