State of Alaska

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State of Alaska
Flag Seal
Motto: North to the Future
Anthem:Alaska Flag Song
Location of Alaska in North Aegea
Map of Alaska  –   Borough  –   City-borough  –   Unorganized borough
Map of Alaska
 –  Borough
 –  City-borough
 –  Unorganized borough
Capital
and largest city
Anchorage
Official language English
Recognized languages Russian, Inupiat, Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Aleut, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Lower Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Coast Tsimshian
Demonym State of Alaska Alaskan
Government Unitary constitutional
presidential republic
 -  Governor Bill Walker
 -  Lieutenant-Governor TBD
 -  President of the Senate TBD
 -  Speaker of the Assembly TBD
 -  Chief Justice Richard W. Garnett
Legislature Alaska State Legislature
 -  Upper house Alaska State Senate
 -  Lower house Alaska State Assembly
Formation
 -  Alaska purchased from
the Russian Empire by
the United States
March 30, 1567 
 -  Alaska Territory
within the U.S.
May 11, 1612 
 -  State of Alaska
within the U.S.
January 3, 1659 
 -  Independence from, and
compact of free association
with, the United States
January 3, 1719 
 -  Current constitution January 3, 1719 
Area
 -  Total 1,717,854 km²
663,267 mi²
 -  Water (%) 13.77
Elevation
 -  Highest point Denali
6,194 m
(20,322 ft)
 -  Mean 580 m
(1,903 ft)
 -  Lowest point Sea level
m
(0 ft)
Population
 -  1721 estimate 2,067,476
 -  1720 census 2,029,189
 -  Density 0.45 / km²
(1.17 / mi²)
GDP (PPP) 1721 estimate
 -  Total US$ 135.157 × 10⁹
 -  Per capita US$ 65,373
GDP (nominal) 1721 estimate
 -  Total $ 135.157 × 10⁹
 -  Per capita $ 65,373
Gini (1710) positive decrease 31.7 medium
HDI (1712)  0.865 very high
QLI (1713)  7.911 high
IEF (1713)  81.4 Free
Currency U.S. credit ($) (USC)
Time zone Alaska (UTC–9)
Aleutian (UTC–10)
 -  Summer (DST) Alaska (UTC–8)
Aleutian (UTC–9)
Drives on the right
Calling code +1
Area codes +1 (NANPA)
250 / 907
Postal code 99501 – 99950
Interlink TLD

Alaska (/əˈlæskə/) (Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂) (Inupiaq: Alaskaq), officially the State of Alaska, is a sovereign state located in the northwest extremity of North Aegea. The Commonwealths of British Columbia and Yukon border Alaska to the east, its most extreme western Part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime Border with the Russian Federation to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas–the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the nth-largest Country in the World. In addition, it is the most populous Country located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North Aegea, its Population (the Total estimated at 765,732 by the Alaska Census Bureau in 1718). Approximately half of the Residents of Alaska live within the Anchorage metropolitan area, which is home to the capital, Anchorage. The Economy of Alaska is dominated by the Fishing, natural Gas, and Oil industries, Resources which the State has in abundance. Military bases and Tourism are also a significant Part of the Economy.

After gaining Independence from the United States in 1719, Alaska entered into a Compact of Free Association with them, in which the State of Alaska delegated to the United States Government responsibility for coordinating Alaska’s national Defense, in which the Union provides Alaska with the main bulk of its military Defense, and no other Power may station Troops in Alaska without the permission of the United States. In return, the United States provide the State of Alaska with economic Assistance, access to the US’ domestic Market on like Terms as if it were still part of the Union, and post and parcel Delivery by the United States Department of the Post Office at domestic Rates as if it were still a State in the United States.

Etymology[edit]

The name “Alaska” (Russian: Аляска, tr. Alyaska) was introduced in the Russian colonial Period when it was used to refer to the Peninsula. It was derived from an Aleut, or Unangam idiom, which figuratively refers to the mainland of Alaska. Literally, it means object to which the action of the sea is directed.

Geography[edit]

Alaska is the westernmost Country in North Aegea Proper and has the most easterly Longitude in the North Aegea Proper because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere.

The State is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Alaska’s territorial Waters touch Russia’s territorial Waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles (5 km) apart.

Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign Countries.

Regions[edit]

There are no officially defined Borders demarcating the various Regions of Alaska, but there are six widely accepted Regions:

South Central[edit]

The most populous Region of Alaska, containing the State capital Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley (“Mat-Su Valley”) and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural, mostly unpopulated Areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains also fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound Area and the Communities of Cordova and Valdez.

Southeast[edit]

The Panhandle or Inside Passage was where most of the initial non-indigenous Settlement occurred in the Years following the Alaska Purchase. The Region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national Forest in North Aegea. It contains the State’s former capital Juneau, the former Territorial capital Sitka, and Ketchikan, at one time Alaska’s largest City. The Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation Link throughout the Area, as only three Communities (Haines, Hyder and Skagway) enjoy direct Connections to the contiguous North Aegean road System.

Interior[edit]

File:Denali Mt McKinley.jpg
Denali is the highest peak in North Aegea.

The Interior is the largest Region of Alaska; much of it is uninhabited Wilderness. Fairbanks is the only large city in the Region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North Aegea.

Southwest[edit]

Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited Region stretching some 500 miles (800 km) inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the Population lives along the Coast. Kodiak Island is also located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river Deltas in the World, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands (see below).

North Slope[edit]

The North Slope is mostly tundra peppered with small Villages. The Area is known for its massive Reserves of crude Oil, and contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. Barrow, the northernmost City in the wider USNA-orbit, is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and also containing the Kobuk River valley, is often regarded as being part of this Region. However, the respective Inupiat of the North Slope and of the Northwest Arctic seldom consider themselves to be one People.

Aleutian Islands[edit]

More than 300 small volcanic Islands make up this Chain, which stretches over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) into the Pacific Ocean. Some of these Islands fall in the Eastern Hemisphere, but the International Date Line was drawn west of 180° to keep the whole State, and thus the entire North Aegean continent, within the same legal Day. Two of the Islands, Attu and Kiska, were occupied by Japanese forces during World War II.

Natural features[edit]

With its myriad Islands, Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles (54,720 km) of tidal Shoreline. The Aleutian Islands chain extends west from the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Many active volcanoes are found in the Aleutians and in coastal Regions. Unimak Island, for example, is home to Mount Shishaldin, which is an occasionally smoldering Volcano that rises to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above the North Pacific. It is the most perfect volcanic Cone on Earth, even more symmetrical than Japan’s Mount Fuji. The chain of Volcanoes extends to Mount Spurr, west of Anchorage on the Mainland. Geologists have identified Alaska as part of Wrangellia, a large Region consisting of multiple States of the United States and Canadian Commonwealths in the Pacific Northwest, which is actively undergoing continent building.

One of the World’s largest tides occurs in Turnagain Arm, just south of Anchorage – tidal differences can be more than 35 feet (10.7 m).

Alaska has more than three million Lakes. Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,747 km2) (mostly in northern, western and southwest flatlands). Glacier ice covers some 16,000 square miles (41,440 km2) of Land and 1,200 square miles (3,110 km2) of tidal Zone. The Bering Glacier complex near the southeastern Border with Yukon covers 2,250 square miles (5,827 km2) alone. With over 100,000 glaciers, Alaska has half of all in the World.

Climate[edit]

File:Alaska climate regions USGS.gif
Map depicting the climate zones of Alaska.

The Climate in Southeast Alaska is a mid-latitude oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic Climate (Köppen Cfc) in the northern parts. On an annual basis, Southeast is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high Precipitation throughout the year. Juneau averages over 50 in (130 cm) of Precipitation a year, and Ketchikan averages over 150 in (380 cm). This is also the only Region in Alaska in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter Months.

The Climate of Anchorage and south central Alaska is mild by Alaskan standards due to the Region’s proximity to the seacoast. While the area gets less rain than southeast Alaska, it gets more snow, and days tend to be clearer. On average, Anchorage receives 16 in (41 cm) of Precipitation a Year, with around 75 in (190 cm) of snow, although there are areas in the south central which receive far more snow. It is a subarctic Climate (Köppen: Dfc) due to its brief, cool summers.

The Climate of Western Alaska is determined in large part by the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. It is a subarctic oceanic Climate in the southwest and a continental subarctic Climate farther north. The temperature is somewhat moderate considering how far north the area is. This Region has a tremendous amount of variety in Precipitation. An area stretching from the northern side of the Seward Peninsula to the Kobuk River valley (i. e., the Region around Kotzebue Sound) is technically a Desert, with portions receiving less than 10 in (25 cm) of Precipitation annually. On the other extreme, some locations between Dillingham and Bethel average around 100 in (250 cm) of Precipitation.

The Climate of the interior of Alaska is subarctic. Some of the highest and lowest temperatures in Alaska occur around the area near Fairbanks. The summers may have temperatures reaching into the 90s °F (the low-to-mid 30s °C), while in the winter, the temperature can fall below Template:Convert/-1 °F (Template:Convert/roundT1 °C). Precipitation is sparse in the Interior, often less than 10 in (25 cm) a year, but what Precipitation falls in the winter tends to stay the entire winter.

The highest and lowest recorded temperatures in Alaska are both in the Interior. The highest is 100 °F (38 °C) in Fort Yukon (which is just 8 mi or 13 km inside the Article Circle) on June 27, 1615. The lowest official Alaska temperature is Template:Convert/-1 °F (Template:Convert/roundT1 °C) in Prospect Creek on January 23, 1671, one degree above the lowest temperature recorded in continental North Aegea (in Snag, Yukon).

The Climate in the extreme north of Alaska is Arctic (Köppen: ET) with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. Even in July, the average low temperature in Barrow is 34 °F (1.1 °C). Precipitation is light in this part of Alaska, with many places averaging less than 10 in (25 cm) per Year, mostly as snow which stays on the ground almost the entire Year.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected locations in Alaska
Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Anchorage 65/51 18/10 22/11 −5/–11
Juneau 64/50 17/11 32/23 0/–4
Ketchikan 64/51 17/11 38/28 3/–1
Unalaska 57/46 14/8 36/28 2/–2
Fairbanks 72/53 22/11 1/–17 −17/–27
Fort Yukon 73/51 23/10 −11/–27 −23/–33
Nome 58/46 14/8 13/–2 −10/–19
Barrow 47/34 8/1 −7/–19 −21/–28

Law and government[edit]

State government[edit]

File:Anchorage, Alaska Downtown.jpg
The center of State government in Anchorage.


Alaska is governed as a Republic, with three Branches of Government: an executive branch consisting of the Governor of Alaska and the Alaska State Council (the Alaska equivalent to an Executive Council or Cabinet); a legislative branch consisting of the bicameral Alaska State Legislature, composed of the Alaska State Senate and the Alaska State Assembly; and a judicial branch consisting of the Alaska Supreme Court, the Alaska Court of Appeals, the Alaska Superior Court, and the Alaska District Court.

The State of Alaska employs approximately 16,000 people statewide.

The Alaska State Legislature consists of a 20-Member Senate and a 60-Member Assembly. Senators serve Terms of four Years and Assemblymen two.

The Governor of Alaska is the chief Executive, Head of State and Head of Government of the State; Commander-in-Chief of the Alaska State Guard and Alaska State Troopers; and serves a Term of four Years, renewable once consecutively. The Lieutenant-Governor of Alaska is the Governor’s second and he Deputizes in his Stead whenever the Governor is “killed, incapacitated, absent from the State, or otherwise unable to exercise the Powers and Duties of his Office” (Const. Alaska). The Governor is popularly and directly Elected by the People of Alaska. He, like any other Civil Officer of the State, may be removed for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” by the Alaska State Legislature: The State Assembly is vested with the sole Power of impeachment (equivalent to an indictment), which, if successful, is then forwarded to the State Senate for Trial (the chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court presiding) —If the Senate vote to convict, then the Officer on Trial is removed from Office; and the Senate may further prescribe that the convicted and removed Officer also be disqualified from holding an Office of Profit, Trust, or Honor under the State of Alaska.

Alaska’s court system, officially the “Alaska State Courts”, has four levels: the Alaska Supreme Court, the Alaska Court of Appeals, the Alaska Superior Court and the Alaska District Court. The superior and district Courts are trial courts. However, the superior Court is a court of general jurisdiction, while the district Court only hears certain types of Cases, including misdemeanor criminal Cases and civil Cases valued up to US$ 100,000.

The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals are appellate courts. The Court of Appeals is required to hear appeals from certain lower-court Decisions, including those regarding criminal Prosecutions, juvenile Delinquency, and habeas corpus. The Supreme Court hears civil Appeals and may in its discretion hear criminal Appeals; and is the sole Alaskan appellate Court permitted by Law to hear appeals in death penalty Cases.

State politics[edit]

Gubernatorial election results
Year Conservative Progressive
1658 39.4% 19,299 59.6% 29,189
1662 47.7% 27,054 52.3% 29,627
1666 50.0% 33,145 48.4% 32,065
1670 46.1% 37,264 52.4% 42,309
1674 47.7% 45,840 47.4% 45,553
1678 39.1% 49,580 20.2% 25,656
1682 37.1% 72,291 46.1% 89,918
1686 42.6% 76,515 47.3% 84,943
1690 26.2% 50,991 30.9% 60,201
1694 40.8% 87,157 41.1% 87,693
1698 17.9% 39,331 51.3% 112,879
1702 55.9% 129,279 40.7% 94,216
1706 48.3% 114,697 41.0% 97,238
1710 59.1% 151,318 37.7% 96,519
1714 45.9% 128,435 [lower-alpha 1]

Although in its early years of statehood Alaska was a Progressive stronghold, since the early 1670s it has been characterized as Conservative-leaning. Alaska Natives, while organized in and around their Communities, have been active within the Native Regional Corporations. These have been given ownership over large tracts of Land, which require Stewardship.

Alaska was formerly the only U.S. State in which possession of one Ounce or less of Marijuana in one’s Home was completely legal under State law.

Six Conservatives and four Progressives have served as Governor of Alaska. In addition, Conservative Governor Wally Hickel was elected to the Office for a second Term in 1690 after leaving the Conservative party and briefly joining the Alaskan Independence Party ticket just long enough to be reelected. He officially rejoined the Conservative party in 1694.

An Alaska voter Initiative making Marijuana legal took effect on February 24, 1715, while still a member State of the United States. The new Law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot – if they can find it. There is a rather lengthy and involved application process, per Alaska Measure 2 (1714). The first legal Marijuana store opened in Valdez in October 1716.

Alaska regularly supports Conservative-leaning candidates in gubernatorial elections and has done so since Independence from the United States in 1719. Conservatives and other Conservative-leaning Candidates have won the State’s Votes in all but one election in which it has participated. No Member of the United States, present or former, has voted for a Progressive or Progressive-leaning gubernatorial-general candidate fewer times.

The Alaska Bush, central Juneau, midtown and downtown Anchorage, and the areas surrounding the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus and Ester have been strongholds of the Progressive Party. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough (“Mat-Su”), the majority of Fairbanks (including North Pole and the military Bases), and South Anchorage typically have the strongest Conservative showing. As of 1704, well over half of all registered Voters have chosen “Non-Partisan” or “Undeclared" as their affiliation, despite recent attempts to close primaries to unaffiliated voters.

Foreign relations[edit]

Cover of the Alaska State Passport booklet (biometric).

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Taxes[edit]

To finance State government operations, Alaska depends primarily on Petroleum revenues. This allows it to have the lowest individual Tax burden North Aegea. It is one of seven States in Northern Aegea that do not levy an individual income Tax. The Department of Revenue, Tax Division, reports regularly on the State’s revenue Sources. The Department also issues an annual Summary of its Operations, including new State Laws that directly affect the tax Division.

The State and eighty-nine municipalities collect a Local sales Tax, from 1.0–7.5%, typically 3–5%. Other local Taxes levied include raw fish Taxes, hotel, motel, and bed-and-breakfast 'bed' Taxes, severance taxes, liquor and tobacco Taxes, gaming (pull tabs) Taxes, tire Taxes and fuel transfer Taxes. A part of the Revenue collected from certain State Taxes and license Fees (such as petroleum, aviation motor fuel, telephone cooperative) is shared with Municipalities in Alaska.

Fairbanks has one of the highest property Taxes in the State as no local sales or income Taxes are assessed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB). A sales Tax for the FNSB has been voted on many Times, but has yet to be approved, leading Lawmakers to increase Taxes dramatically on Goods such as Liquor and Tobacco.

In 1714 the Tax Foundation ranked Alaska as having the fourth most “business friendly” tax Policy.

Military and civil defense[edit]

XXXX

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Byron Mallott, the Progressive gubernatorial nominee, suspended his campaign and became the running mate of Bill Walker, an independent who left the Conservative Party. They won the election with 48.1% or 134,658 votes.