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PenAir

Dillingham, Alaska

Passenger Service: PenAir offers scheduled passenger service seven (7) days of the week.
Airport: Dillingham Airport (State owned) - 803 Airport Rd, Dillingham, AK 99576       
Distance from Anchorage = 329 miles
Approximate Travel Time = 1.5 hours
Runway(s): 6,500 ft. X 150 ft.

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The area around Dillingham was originally inhabited by both Eskimos and Athabascans and became a trade center when Russians erected the Alexandrovski Redoubt Post in 1818. Local Native groups and Natives from the Kuskokwim Region, the Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet mixed together as they came to visit or live at the post.

The community was known as Nushagak by 1837 when a Russian Orthodox mission was established. In 1881, the U.S. Signal Corps established a meteorological station at Nushagak. In 1884, the first salmon cannery in the Bristol Bay region was constructed by Arctic Packing Co., east of the site of modern-day Dillingham. Ten more were established within the next 17 years.

The post office at Snag Point and thetown were named after U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham in 1904, who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee during 1903. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic struck the region, and left no more than 500 survivors. A hospital and orphanage were established in Kanakanak after the epidemic, 6 miles from the present-day city center. The Dillingham town site was first surveyed in 1947. The city was incorporated in 1963  

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Dillingham is located in southwest Alaska at the head of Nushagak Bay and at the confluence of the Wood and Nushagak Rivers in Bristol Bay. The City borders the largest remaining wild salmon fishery in the world.

The only way to reach Dillingham is by sea or air. There are no roads from the Alaska Highway System. A twenty-five mile paved road connects Dillingham to the neighboring community of Aleknagik which borders the largest state park in the nation, the Wood Tikchik State Park. Dillingham is also headquarters for nearby Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, home to walruses, seals, migratory birds, fish and includes one of the largest wild herring fisheries in the world. 

Wood-Tikchik State Park

At nearly 1.6 million acres, Wood-Tikchik State Park is the largest and most remote state park in the nation. This one park encompasses nearly half of the state park land in Alaska and 15% of all state park land in the United States. The primary purposes of creating Wood-Tikchik State Park are to protect the area’s fish and wildlife breeding and support systems and to preserve the continued use of the area for subsistence and recreational activities. The land and water in this region are traditional grounds for subsistence fishing, hunting and gathering. These activities are an integral part of the culture in this region and provide not only food, but a cultural tie to the land and between generations. 

Togiak National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity including salmon, marine birds and mammals, migratory birds and large mammals; to fulfill international treaty obligations; to provide for continued subsistence use; and to ensure necessary water quality and quantity. Togiak National Wildlife Refuge includes 4.7 million acres of land in Southwest Alaska between Kuskokwim Bay and Bristol Bay. The eastern boundary of Togiak Refuge is about 350 air miles southwest of Anchorage. The Togiak Refuge is bordered on the north by Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, and on the east by Wood-Tikchik State Park. Togiak Refuge is roadless; primary access is via air or water.

Togiak Refuge features a variety of landscapes, including mountain crags, fast-flowing rivers, deep lakes, tundra, marshy lowlands, ponds, estuaries, coastal lagoons and sea cliffs. The broad glacial valleys of the Ahklun Mountain range cut the tundra uplands, opening into coastal plains. The Ahklun Mountains spread across 80% of Togiak Refuge.  

(excerpts taken from www.dillinghamak.us, www.fws.gov/refuge/togiak and www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/wtc April 2015)