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09 / 24 / 2017
About Alaska PDF Print E-mail
Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas, the largest of the lower 48 states. The amount of Alaska underlain by permafrost is equal to the size of three Californias. Ten states are smaller than the area covered by glaciers in Alaska. map

The area of Alaska owned by private individuals and Native corporations is about the same size as the area of Michigan; 27 states are smaller than that. Much of Alaska is owned and managed by the federal government, which purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for about 1.9 cents per acre or $4.74 per square kilometer.

The U.S. Forest Service manages an area in Alaska about the size of South Carolina and Alaska has more national parks and preserves than all the other states combined. Alaska's national parks and preserves cover an area about the size of Kansas. The area managed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is slightly larger than Arizona, and the Alaska state government and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) both have chunks of land about the size of New Mexico.

Alaska's volcanoes along the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands stretch roughly the distance from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to San Francisco. This does not count those in the Wrangell Mountains and on the west side of Cook Inlet. Forty three of Alaska's volcanoes have erupted since 1767, when people started keeping written records.

Alaska's treeless North Slope, the area north of the Brooks Range, has average annual temperatures in the range of 10 degrees Celsius below zero and continuous permafrost up to 600 meters thick. The area of the North Slope is about 200,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Nebraska. Alaska's 19,000 square kilometers of lakes occupy more space than all of the Hawaiian Islands.

nothern litesBecause most of Alaska lies north of 60°N, altitudes in excess of 2000 meters above sea level (about 6500 feet) are fairly inhospitable. Alaska has about 34,000 square kilometers above this altitude, a chunk of land larger than Maryland. Nine states have smaller areas than this high-altitude part of Alaska. Alaska's enormous size carries enormous responsibilities for the state government.

Most Alaskan villages are reached only by air or water transportation. Alaska sprawls across four time zones (even though three of these have been politically combined into one). It covers 57.5 degrees of longitude, which equals the span of land from Maine to Washington. North to south, Alaska extends through 20 degrees of latitude, from 51 to 71 degrees, which equals the span of land from a latitude south of London, England, to within nineteen degrees of the North Pole. To maintain government infrastructure through such a vast region is a major challenge for any state government. In addition, the coastline of Alaska exceeds the combined coastlines of all the other states in the U.S., including Hawaii.

Incidentally, the $4.74 per square kilometer per acre paid by the U.S. to Russia is by far the best bargain of any land purchase deal in U.S. history; the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 was 1.4 times larger in area, and cost $7.00 per square kilometer. All the other purchases were far more expensive than these massive acquisitions.

Alaska’s population was 670,000 as of 2006, with nearly half of the state’s residents live in Anchorage. Alaska's size allows for about 1 square mile for each person in the state. By comparison, New York has .003 square miles per person. Men out number women in Alaska. This fact, in addition to the unique demands placed on Alaskan residents by mother nature, leads to an interest in Alaskan men by women around the world. Hence "Alaska Men Magazine" was born. I guess it's the rugged image that once made the Wild West so wild. The most interesting phrase I have heard used to describe the chances any given woman has at finding a man in Alaska is: "The Odds are Good, but the Goods are Odd". Translation = Not everyone would consider many Alaskan men someone to take home to the parents...

Please... we invite you to come visit us one day and make see what makes Alaska such a great place to live and work.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 August 2008 08:04