Kenai Fjords Facts

Kenai Fjords Facts
Kenai Fjords National Park is a 669,984 acre park located in Alaska in the United States. The park is famous for the fjords it contains, which are valleys that were created by glaciers that are now below sea level. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter designated Kenai Fjords as a national monument. In 1980 it was re-designated as Kenai Fjords National Park, following the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act passing. Prior to being established as a park few people lived in the area, and it is believed that populations in the region were fairly non-permanent due to the sea levels changing and earthquakes in the area.
Interesting Kenai Fjords Facts:
Despite the region not having much evidence of a lot of long term residences, some villages have been discovered that dated between 1200 AD and 1920 and few were occupied for hundreds of years.
Interest in protecting Kenai Fjords began in the 1970s. Political scandal resulted in the park's establishment being delayed until 1978. At the time of national monument designation only one ranger was appointed to the care of monument's land.
When the park was re-designated as a national park improvements began. The park was divided into three regions for management including the wilderness (icefield), back-country (fjords), and front-country (Exit Glacier).
Kenai Fjords is named after the fjords is contains. The name 'Kenai' originated from the word 'kena' which means 'open area with few trees, flat, meadow'.
Mammals that can be found in Kenai Fjords National Park include wolves, brown bears, black bears, Alaskan moose, porcupines, Canadian lynx, mountain goats, coyotes, river otters, and beavers.
Marine mammals that can be found in the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park include sea otters, harbour seals, and sea lions.
Orca whales, fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and Dall's porpoises can be found in the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Birds that can be found living in Kenai Fjords National Park include marbled Murrelets, thick-billed murres, horned puffins, tufted puffins, Stellar's jays, peregrine falcons, and black-billed magpies. The park is popular with bird watchers.
There are not many amphibians or reptiles in Kenai Fjords National Park because of the harsh conditions and colder climate.
Trees that can be found growing in Kenai Fjords National Park include willows, alders, Sitka spruce, mountain hemlock, and in the alpine region where conditions are more difficult there are shrubs such as devil's club, lady fern, and elderberry.
In 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in extensive damage to the coastline of Kenai Fjords National Park. 4% of the park's 20 miles of coastline was contaminated.
Visitors to Kanai Fjords National Park can see the park on boat tours, hiking the trails, kayaking, by road, and visitors can stay in cabins or can camp if they wish to stay for longer than a day.
In 2012 the number of visitors to Kenai Fjords National Park reached 281,279. In 1982 when the park was only two years old it had only 16,118 visitors.

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