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During the fiscal year 1945, 2 public auction sales of fur-seal skins were held at St. Louis, Mo. At the sale of October 9, 1944, 22,393 dressed and dyed, and 169 unfinished skins were sold for $823,500.75. The April 9, 1945, sale of 22,682 dressed and dyed Pribilof Islands fur-seal skins and 4 confiscated sealskins grossed $811,993.25. In addition, there were sold at private sales for promotional purposes 399 dressed and dyed fur-seal skins for $16,312.50
Production of byproducts of the industry amounted to 484,776 pounds of meal and 247,320 pounds of oil. With the 1944 production, 350,694 pounds of meal produced in 1943 were sold through competitive bidding for $34,672.50. A ton of meal was delivered to the Experimental Fur Farm at Petersburg for animal feeding tests. Blubber and oil products were sold for $22,608.75.
Alaska has two National Forests, administered by the U. S. Forest Service, which extend along the greater part of the coastal region between the Canadian boundary at Portland Canal on the south and Cook Inlet on the north, and cover about 5.5 percent of the total area of the Territory. The Tongass, almost coextensive with southeastern Alaska, has an area of 16,000,000 acres, and the Chugach, with 4,800,000 acres, embraces the lands around Prince William Sound, the eastern half of the Kenai Peninsula and Afognak Island.
Timber resources.—The timber fringes the shore of the mainland and the hundreds of adjacent islands, rarely extending inland over 4 or 5 miles, and consists of western hemlock and Sitka spruce with some western red cedar and Alaska cedar. The estimated stand is 78,500,000,000 feet board measure on the Tongass, and 6,260,000,000 feet board measure on the Chugach, and the average volume per acre of the commercial areas is about 26,000 board feet.
Stumpage is sold as needed to individuals and manufacturing industries. The logging is done under rules which insure the renewal of the forest crop on the cut-over areas. Rates now average about $1.50 per thousand board feet for spruce and cedar, and $1 for hemlock. Timber sold during the year totalled 72 million feet, much of which was used on military projects. A total of 734 million feet was cut during the year under the free use privilege by settlers, miners, other residents, and the military service.
Extensive forests of spruce and hemlock, cheap water power, an almost yearlong logging season, and full year-round water transportation for logs and finished products combine to make the manufacture of pulp and paper, particularly newsprint, the great potential forest industry of Alaska, capable, under proper management of timber stands, of producing in perpetuity more than one-fourth of the United States' present annual requirements of newsprint.
Much interest has recently been shown by servicemen and others in the opportunities for minor wood products in Alaska, such as millwork items and many wooden articles for everyday use, and the Forest Service has prepared a printed pamphlet which furnishes information on the subject.
Water power.—The potential water-power resources of the National Forest region extend to a total yearlong capacity of about 800,000 horsepower, of which only 22,000 horsepower has been developed and is now in use. The best power sites range from 5,000 to 30,000 horsepower in capacity, but in many cases power from a number of sites can be concentrated at a central point by means of short, inexpensive transmission lines, if so desired. Water power sites can be developed under leases provided for by the Federal Power Act.
Recreation.—Hundreds of miles of interconnected and sheltered ocean waterways, many winding, narrow fiords with rugged mountains rising abruptly from the water's edge, great glaciers and masses of floating ice, hundreds of lakes and streams, trout, salmon, mountain sheep, goats, moose, deer, caribou, black, grizzly and Alaska brown bears, all make the National Forests a great attraction to tourists and sportsmen. In many spots of particular beauty or with especially good fishing or hunting, the Forest Service has constructed shelter cabins, boats, roads and trails, picnic grounds, swimming beaches, community buildings and bath houses, rifle ranges, ski trails and jumps, ski cabins and skating facilities. An extensive development of tourist resorts by private interests, is hoped for in the postwar era.
Lands.-Land most valuable for agriculture, mining, industrial purposes, and townsites can be patented for such uses, and land for fur farming, resorts, summer cottages and other special forms of occupancy may be leased. The Homesite Act of 1927 permits residents to purchase homesites of 5 acres or less at $2.50 per acre after 3 years of residence. Up to the present time 336 areas have been opened to homesteading; 295 areas have been eliminated from the National Forests for patenting as homesites and an additional 175 such areas are still in the first stages of use. Other special use permits in effect June 30, 1945, include 50 fur farms, 447 residences and summer homes, 26 fish canneries and salteries and 632 miscellaneous, a total of 1,320.
Receipts.—Total gross receipts on the Alaska National Forests for timber stumpage and for the several classes of land use during the last fiscal year were $101,522.05, 25 percent of which was transferred to the Territorial Government for the use of roads and schools. This amounted to $25,380.51 last fiscal year, and $686,144.17 has been turned over to the Territory for this use since 1909. In addition, 10 percent of all receipts are made available to the Forest Service for road Enrollment for the year totaled 1,020, including 231 students of college grade, 735 mining extension students, 29 in the Mining Short Course and 30 in the Home Economics Short Course. Fees for credit course students included: community fee, $15 per semester; room rent, $10 or $12.50 per month; board, $35 per month; nonresident tuition, $20 per semester. Tuition is free to Alaska residents.
Agricultural Experiment Stations Research projects carried on at the Fairbanks Station during the past year included raising swine and poultry, plant breeding and crop improvement, improved seed potatoes for Alaska, and oat and pea ensilage for dairy cattle. At the Matanuska substation projects were continued with feeding dairy calves, wintering sheep, potatoes, pasture improvement, and crop rotation systems. Work with grasses and legumes particularly adaptable to Alaskan conditions is progressing at both stations. The U. S. Department of Agriculture through its Bureau of Entomology is cooperating with the experiment stations in making a study of insects injurious to crops in Alaska.
One of the important projects now in effect at the Petersburg substation is the feeding of fish as the chief part of the ration for furbearing animals—including mink, white, blue and cross foxes, and marten. Results of this project up to the present time indicate that between 65 and 75 percent of the feed necessary to produce high quality fur can be supplied from fish.
Agricultural Extension Service This service, supervised by the same director, is closely allied with the Agricultural Experiment Stations. During the past year emphasis was again placed on the preservation, production, and conservation of foods. In the Matanuska Valley projects pertaining to livestock, gardening, and poultry production were carried on. In this area, as well as the Tanana Valley and southeastern Alaska, nutrition, sewing, handicraft, home management, and canning classes were conducted. During 1944, there were 86 different organized 4-H Clubs with 966 members enrolled throughout the Territory.
TERRITORIAL SCHOOLS The Territorial public schools, for the education of white and mixed-blood children, are of two classes: schools within incorporated cities and incorporated school districts, and rural schools located outside incorporated cities and school districts.
During 1944-45, 37 rural and 18 city schools, employing 320 teachers, were maintained; 5,794 pupils were enrolled.
The public high schools at Anchorage, Cordova, Douglas, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Nome, Petersburg, Seward, Sitka, Skagway
and Wrangell, also the rural high school of Palmer, the Sheldon Jackson School at Sitka and the Wrangell Institute at Wrangell, are accredited by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools. High schools accredited by the Territorial Department of Education include a number of rural schools, as well as those maintained in the incorporated cities of Craig, Haines, Kodiak, Nenana, and Valdez.
The Territorial schools are under the general supervision of a Territorial Board of Education, with the Commissioner of Education as executive officer.
FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
BUREAU OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES Under the provisions of the Lanham Act, the Federal Works Agency is constructing hospitals, schools, recreational centers, health centers, fire stations, water works, sewerage systems and electric power plants, and aiding in the furnishing of operation and maintenance services. This program is to assist communities in providing public works and services made necessary by expansion of war industries and increased wartime activities of the Army and Navy. During the year seven construction projects, for which the estimated cost totalled $696,731, were completed and placed in operation.
TERRITORIAL FINANCES The fiscal system of the Territory is controlled by laws enacted by the Territorial Legislature, and is separate from revenues received by the Federal Government from business and trade licenses which are covered into and disbursed from the "Alaska Fund” in the Federal Treasury. The general revenue act in effect at this time (ch. 61, art. IV, sec. 3138, Compiled Laws of Alaska, 1933) and amendments thereto, impose license taxes for various occupations and industries.
Alaska's tax system is grossly inadequate. A school tax of $5 is levied on all persons gainfully employed between the ages of 21 and 55 years inclusive. The salmon industry pays a pack tax on each case of salmon packed and a business tax of 1 percent of the net income. Gold taxation is less than 3 percent, and because of a $20,000 exemption a large portion of gold without any taxation whatever leaves the Territory every year. Public utilities pay one-half of 1 percent of gross income. The remainder of the Territorial revenue comes from liquor taxes and a variety of license fees on businesses and professions. There is in Alaska no personal or corporate income tax and no property tax (municipalities tax property, but the law provides a maximum of 2 percent). The condition of the Territorial Treasury for the 1945 fiscal year was as follows:
Balance of cash in banks, July 1, 1944------------ $1,963, 001. 94
Fourteen Territorial and four National banks were doing business in Alaska at the close of the year. The Territorial Banking Board, composed of the Governor, the Auditor and the Treasurer of the Territory, supervises Territorial banking institutions. All banks make a report of conditions and publish statements under call as required by Territorial law. Aggregate banking figures for the Territory on June 30, 1945, were as follows: Capital, $1,035,000.00; surplus and net undivided profits, $2,208,408.27; deposits, $55,331,987.10. Totals for the
previous year were: Capital, $985,000.00; surplus and net undivided
profits, $1,836,349.64; deposits, $54,769,659.79. - ALASKA FUND
The Alaska Fund is revenue derived from licenses issued for occupations and trade conducted outside of incorporated towns, deposited into the Federal Treasury and disbursed by Congressional appropriation as follows: 65 percent for construction and repair of roads and trails, 25 percent for maintenance of schools and 10 percent for relief of indigents. The total receipts for the fiscal year were $198,787.08.
In 1944, the salmon canning industry was operated in accordance with the Salmon Industry Concentration Plan under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior which, although more liberal than in 1943, required the concentration of the industry in the more efficient plants in order to effect savings in manpower, equipment and critical materials and to lessen the requirements for shipping facilities.
As in previous years, the commercial fishing grounds were patrolled
by seagoing vessels, launches and open boats, supplemented with 84 hours of airplane patrol. Fishery management agents, fishery biologists, wildlife agents and seasonal employees were engaged in law enforcement and making observations of runs and escapements.