National Park Quiz 20: The Last Frontier

Do you know which national park is closest to this building?

1. Look at the photo accompanying this quiz. Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin spent plenty of time in this building during 1992-2002, first as a city council member, then as mayor of Wasilla. Which of the following parks is closest to Wasilla?
a. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
b. Denali National Park and Preserve
c. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
d. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

2. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) revised the boundaries of three existing national parks, established ten new national parks, and expanded the National Park System by more than 43 million acres when it was signed into law by President
a. Jimmy Carter
b. Ronald Reagan
c. George Bush
d. Bill Clinton

3. Which of the following parks has glacially carved, U-shaped valleys filled with sea water?
a. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
b. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
c. Aniakchak National Park and Preserve
d. Kenai Fjords National Park and Preserve

4. In July, a friend who recently returned from Alaska tells you that he saw and photographed every one of the “Big Five” while visiting a single national park there. From this you can logically deduce that your friend
a. visited Katmai National Park and Preserve
b. was a passenger in a floatplane during his trip
c. photographed a caribou and a Dall sheep
d. is telling you a big, fat lie

5. There are strict daily limits on the number of vessels of various types that may enter Glacier Bay at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Intended primarily to protect endangered ______, vessel limits and operating requirements have been employed at Glacier Bay since 1979.
a. sea otters and harbor seals
b. humpback whales
c. Dall’s porpoises
d. Steller sea lions

6. If you want to be able to carry a firearm for protection against bears while enjoying whitewater kayaking, gold panning, or moose hunting, you can include ______ on your list of parks to consider.
a. Kobuk Valley National Park
b. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
c. Cape Krusenstern National Monument
d. Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

7. Which of the following is furthest north, meaning that its northern border is closest to the North Pole?
a. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
b. Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
c. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
d. Denali National Park and Preserve

8. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park has four units. One is located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. One of the others preserves 15 restored historic buildings in downtown
a. Skagway
b. Juneau
c. Sitka
d. Ketchikan

9. Each of the following is a true statement about Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve EXCEPT:
a. It is the largest park in the entire National Park System.
b. It contains the continent’s largest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet.
c. It contains the largest assemblage of glaciers in North America.
d. It is the largest national park in which visitors may not legally carry firearms.

10. All of the following are located in Alaska, but the only national park in this batch is
a. Misty Fjords National Monument
b. Alagnak Wild River
c. Admiralty Island National Monument
d. Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Extra credit question:

11. No road system connects Sitka National Historical Park in southeastern Alaska with Cape Cape Krusenstern National Monument on the Bering Sea coast. If you were to hop in your Cessna 180 and fly from one park to the other, the minimum distance you’d have to travel is about the same as the distance from Chicago to
a. Los Angeles, California
b. St. Louis, Missouri
c. Miami, Florida
d. Detroit, Michigan

Super bonus question:

12. The period 2000 through 2007 encompasses 84 months. During how many of these months did Alaska’s Aniakchak National Park and Preserve (established in1980) record not a single recreational visitor – zero, zippo, nada?
a. 9
b. 16
c. 22
d. 41

Answers:

1) b

(2) a -- President Jimmy Carter signed the ANILCA into law on December 2, 1980.

(3) d

(4) c -- Denali's “Big Five” species are the grizzly, wolf, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep.

(5) b

(6) d

(7) c

(8) a

(9) d -- Visitors are generally not permitted to carry firearms in national parks or monuments, just national preserves. In a rare exception, visitors are permitted to carry firearms for bear protection throughout Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

(10) b -- The Misty Fjords and Admiralty Island National Monuments in southeastern Alaska are administered by the Forest Service. The enormous (19 million acres) Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

(11) c -- These two Alaska parks are located about 1,100 miles from each other, which is roughly the distance from Chicago to Miami.

(12) d -- There were no recorded recreational visitors at Aniakchak National Park and Preserve during 41 out of the first 84 reporting months of the new millennium. In fact, only 1,508 recreational visits were recorded during this entire seven-year period. That’s an average of just 215 a year.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passably fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.