Matanuska Valley Memoir

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Show simple item record Johnson, Hugh A. Stanton, Keith L. 2019-01-15T00:02:39Z 2019-01-15T00:02:39Z 1980-05
dc.description.abstract The Matanuska Valley was created through action of ice, water and wind. When the last glaciers retreated up the Susitna. the Knik and the Matanuska valleys, vegetation began covering the scars. Over several centuries a dense growth of trees and brush screened the land from Knik Arm to the mountain slopes of the Talkeetna range. Here and there a lake broke the uniform forest mantle. A salt marsh at the mouth of the Matanuska River kept the rank undergrowth from reaching tidewater. A few low spots near the Little Susitna and other swampy areas supported a thick cover of moss or grass. The Valley, which really isn't a valley at all but a reworked foreland, rises from the Matanuska River in a series of benches ranging in width from a few hundred feet to more than a mile. Some areas are flat, others are rolling. Soil depth varies from eight feet in thickness for the region bordering the Matanuska River to a few inches in sections west of Wasilla. The soil mantle, of windblown loessial materials, is of relatively new geologic development. The Valley is bounded by the Chugach Mountains on the east, the Talkeetnas on the north, the Susitna Valley on the west and Knik Arm on the south. Winters are long but usually not unduly severe; summers cool and relatively moist. To this country came trappers, prospectors, and traders in closing years of the nineteenth century. Hordes of insects, difficult trails, sparse population and great distances from supply points discouraged many potential residents. Those who stayed were interested primarily in the Willow Creek gold field or the Matanuska coal deposits. Another generation, an uneasy international situation and social crises within the United States were required before the Matanuska Valley and the rest of Upper Cook Inlet were ripe for use. This history of the Valley is designed to trace the many human elements affecting the ebb and flow of agricultural development here. It brings into focus many problems that must be solved before new areas in Alaska can be settled satisfactorily. en_US
dc.publisher University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station en_US
dc.subject Alaska en_US
dc.subject Agriculture en_US
dc.subject Matanuska Valley en_US
dc.title Matanuska Valley Memoir en_US
dc.title.alternative Bulletin 18 1980 en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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