By Walter R. Borneman
The historical past of Alaska is full of tales of latest 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!"; infantrymen struggling with out a decisive bankruptcy in international conflict; oil wildcatters trying to find a unique form of mineral wealth; and regularly on the center of those disputes is the query of the way the land is for use and through whom.Major topics contain Alaska Natives, exploration and mountain 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 leading edge of switch. Alaska: Saga of a daring Land indicates that there aren't any effortless solutions on both sides and that Alaska will constantly be crossing the subsequent frontier.
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Extra info 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
National forest—the Tongass; largest subpolar icefield in the world—Bagley Icefield. 1 Everything that has happened or will happen here—from the first people migrating from Siberia, to the gold rushes and oil booms, to the competing issues of wilderness versus development— everything is inextricably tied to the land. One cannot understand the story without knowing something about the setting and the people who first set foot upon it. Mountains, Glaciers, and Innumerable Rivers Rivers, creeks, and streams almost without number course through the extent of Alaska, but it is the mountain ranges that most define its landscape.
Elias Range and runs some seventy miles from Grand Pacific and Grand Plateau Glaciers south to Cross Sound and Icy Strait. The range separates Glacier Bay from the Gulf of Alaska, and along with Canada’s Alsek and Takhinsha Mountains, it is the source of the glaciers that sculpted Glacier Bay. The many inlets of Glacier Bay have only recently been exposed from beneath massive glaciers. Mount Fairweather (15,330 feet), the highpoint of the range, sits squarely on yet another corner of the jagged United States–Canada boundary.
The best-known glacier is the Kennicott, which sweeps south from the mountain in a relatively straight line and now terminates near the towns of McCarthy and Kennecott. Northwest of Blackburn, Mount Wrangell (14,163 feet) is an enormous shield volcano. 5 miles wide with three small craters containing active fumaroles situated along its rim. There have been at least three reports (1784, 1884–85, and 1900) of eruptions, including unconfirmed reports of flowing lava. One landmark on the mountain is Mount Zanetti (13,009 feet), a large cinder cone high on Mount Wrangell’s northwest flank that may have erupted less than 25,000 years ago.
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 by Walter R. Borneman