National Geographic : 1959 Jul
MARC RIBOUD, MAGNUM team lope past bush planes lashed down against the northland's fierce winter winds. Portrait of the Union's Largest State and serve as a terminal for a pipeline to the Arctic oil fields, southeast of Barrow. Alaska's proximity to Asian markets is ex erting a growing influence. The thriving Jap anese steel industry now imports coking coal from faraway Virginia. But if Alaska-mined coal-worth some $6,000,000 in 1958-proves suitable, the Virginia suppliers plan a mam moth installation in the Bering River area. New roads probe the wilderness; the map shows the Denali Highway that opens Mount McKinley National Park to motor traffic. But Alaska still conquers its immense dis tances by air; red stars mark the 217 com munities with scheduled air passenger service. A line of red trees indicates the limits of the State's wooded areas. National Geographic cartographers have learned from bush pilots that the forests are marching steadily toward the sea in the north and west; in some places, spruce and hemlock thrive 50 miles nearer the coast than was true a few decades ago. Spectacular ice sheets stud the wild coast line of the Gulf of Alaska. One, Malaspina Glacier, could cover all of Rhode Island. The metamorphosis of the 49th State is strikingly evident at Chirikof Island, south west of Kodiak. Cowboys now ride the range on what was once a tsarist prison isle. A cattle company has leased the entire island and hopes eventually to supply a large pro portion of Alaska's beef. A glance at the inset in the map's upper right corner will identify regions of Arctic tundra, mountain tundra and alpine vegeta tion, forest, and farmland. Other insets com plete the Aleutian chain on the same large scale as the main map, and show the Diomede Islands, where a scant 2'2 miles of water sepa rates the United States from Soviet territory. * A convenient Folio to hold Atlas Maps is avail able for $4.85; a packet of the seven maps issued in 1958 for $3; individual maps for 50. Write to National Geographic Society, Dept. 17, Washington 6,D.C. This map is Atlas Folio Plate No. 18. Plates previously issued: Northeastern United States (No. 6), Southeastern United States (8), North Central United States (9), U.S .-Canadian National Parks (13), Southern South America (28), British Isles (31), Germany (35), Poland and Czechoslovakia (38), Greece and the Aegean (40), and Lands of the Eastern Mediterranean (47).