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A Vacation In Alaska, the 49th State

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For the first time since 2013, the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend will be less than $1,000

was written by Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO – Juneau , 2020-06-13 00:35:41

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Alaskans file their Permanent Fund dividend applications in downtown Anchorage in March 2016. (Rachel Waldholz/Alaska Public Media)

The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend going out in July will be $992. The amount announced on Friday is $8 less than the Alaska Legislature estimated when it budgeted for the annual dividend.

The difference is due to a higher than expected amount being set aside to cover other costs paid for out of the dividend funding.

“If they look at their stub when they get their PFD … similar to a paycheck, you have a gross amount and the net amount,” explained Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division Director Anne Weske.

Those costs include allowing Alaskans who would be ineligible to receive social services if dividends were counted in their income to continue to receive benefits.

They also include paying the administrative costs of the division that oversees the PFD program, as well as the health care of prisoners in the state.

Dividends will begin going out on July 1, more than three months earlier than normal.

Roughly 640,000 Alaskans will receive PFDs this year. Of those, 580,000 are scheduled to receive them in early July, with roughly 540,000 receiving direct deposits and 40,000 receiving paper checks.

Weske says the division is working to check the information on the rest of the applications, to get those dividends out as soon as possible.

“It’s quite a bit earlier in the season than we’re used to paying it,” she said. “And so we are working at mach speeds with temp staff on board to help us out, but we’re just asking for patience from Alaskans.”

The last time the dividend was less than $1,000 was 2013. Alaskans got $900 that year.

Adjusted for inflation, there have been only five dividends of less than $1,000 in today’s dollars since the program started in 1982.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said he wants the state to follow the formula in a 1982 state law. His office estimated the amount under that formula would have been $3,064.

Majorities in both legislative chambers rejected the proposal, with lawmakers saying drawing from the permanent fund’s earnings reserve to pay out more would threaten the financial health of the fund, the dividend, the state budget and the future of the state’s economy.

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A Trip To Alaska, the Last Frontier

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Irrespective of whether it is a result of influencers or common trends in general people have a preference for sustainable tourism and want to be responsible visitors. Alaska is a area where responsible tourism is crucial.

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Denali National Park and Preserve. Originally created to preserve wildlife, the landscapes are nonetheless impressive. Denali incorporates 160 miles of the Alaska Range and commanding this sky line is North America’s largest peak; 20,320 foot Mount McKinley quite simply one of the most great sights in Alaska, if not the world. However it’s not just the mountain which makes Denali National Park a special place. The park is home to 37 species of mammals, ranging from lynx, marmots and Dall sheep, to foxes and snowshoe hares, and 130 different bird species have been identified here, including the striking golden eagle. The majority of visitors, however, want to see four animals in particular: moose, caribou, wolf and everyone’s popular: the grizzly, bear. Denali, unlike the majority of wilderness areas in the country, it’s not necessary to be a backpacker to watch this wildlife, they can be seen right next to the famous Denali Park road. Not surprisingly then, visitors arrive here in droves; the park is a well-known place, bringing in 432,000 visitors each year. Over the years the National Park Service (NPS) has developed special visitor-management strategies, including closing its only road to the majority of vehicles. Because of this Denali National Park is still the terrific wilderness it was two decades previously. The entry has transformed, however the park itself has not, and any brown bear meandering on the tundra ridge continue to provide the exact same quiet excitement as when the park very first opened up in 1917. Even though generations of Athabascans had wandered through what is now the park, the first permanent settlement was set up in 1905, when a gold miners’ rush established the town of Kantishna. A year later, naturalist and hunter Charles Sheldon was stunned by the beauty of the land and mortified at the reckless abandon of the miners and big-game hunters. Sheldon came back in 1907 and traveled the area with guide Harry Karstens in an effort to setup boundaries for a proposed national park. Sheldon was successful and the location was identified as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917 along with Karstens serving as the park’s very first superintendent. As a result of the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the park was enlarged to a lot more than 6 million acres and renamed Denali National Park and Preserve. Denali right now comprises an area slightly bigger than the state of Massachusetts and is generally rated as one of Alaska’s top destinations.

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Going To Denali National Park in Alaska, America’s icebox