My Twitter Feed

October 25, 2014

Happy Marmot Day!

We don’t know what rodent you folks celebrate in the Lower 48, but in Alaska today is officially Marmot Day.

marmot

And while the question of  whether or not we’ll have six more weeks of winter is generally laughable in a state where you’re not allowed to complain unless it’s still snowing in May, today is looking mighty spring-like in this corner of the Last Frontier.

Anchorage-20130202-00960

For those of you curious about the origin and purpose of Marmot Day, there is an amusing Wikipedia entry detailing Senate Bill 58, and how it came to be.

Senate Bill 58, sponsored by Sen. Linda Menard, R-Wasilla, was first introduced by the late Dr. Curtis Menard, Linda Menard’s husband and former state legislator. Concerned by the gradual decline of Alaska’s folk values, and worried that the 49th state would become a suburb of Houston both culturally and economically[citation needed], Dr. Menard drew a line in the sand with his idea of creating Marmot Day in the 1990s. After getting stuck in a committee while politics was played, the controversial Marmot Day bill died in the legislature. Sen. Linda Menard reintroduced the bill for the 26th Alaska Legislature, and the bill passed by a Marmot’s whisker on the second to last day of the legislative session, and Sarah Palin signed it into law.[5] As Senator Menard said, “By recognizing the marmot, our state [built] a tradition and legacy to be built on for future generations.

We, too, are worried that Alaska might become “a suburb of Houston.” May we humbly suggest that if Marmot Day alone does not stem the tide of Texification, the legislature might want to refrain from giving away our budget surplus to the oil companies located there. But that’s another story for another day.

Comments

comments

Comments
8 Responses to “Happy Marmot Day!”
  1. Forty Watt says:

    Personally, I do not celebrate anything much about the groundhogs in my garden. :(

  2. Pinwheel says:

    Didn’t go to the Marmot Day Wikipedia page, but did look at Marmots. Closest range was the Colorado Rockies. WTF. I think I’ll go with the AWCC ceremony with/for a porcupine. We know that spring is still 4 +/- months away no matter how warm, wet it is at this time. n

  3. mike from iowa says:

    I recognize marmots here in iowa-ground hogs-to be exact. Unfortunately,the most recognizable signs are large holes under builings and if the bldg has a wooden floor,sooner or later you will have ground hog tenants. I’m saying this off record so I don’t get pilloried for shooting the damn nuisances. If you want more marmots in Alaska,I will live trap and mail them to you.

    • slipstream says:

      You are correct, mike. Groundhogs and marmots are the same critter.

      The main difference between Iowa and Alaska marmots: the ones in Alaska always have a couple rolls of duct tape handy.

      • InJuneau says:

        I think marmots are also the largest member of the goundhog family. Love listening to them whistle up in the mountains during the summer.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Ours are somewhat better behaved cousins to yours Mikey.
      The hoary marmot we see here in Southeast Alaska mostly lives above treeline and the Alaska marmot is limited mostly to the Brooks Range in the far north .
      Neither shows much interest in living near people, preferring higher rockier elevations than most people in Alaska do.
      Could your problems there be that no-real-mountains-in-Iowa thingy ? If we sent you boxes and boxes of rocks to pile up would your groundhogs/woodchucks/marmots/M. monax move to the ‘burbs in the “hills”?

      • mike from iowa says:

        Our varmints already have the best soil in the world to defile. Why would they want rocks?-concrete is a perfectly acceptable alternative and has smooth,flat sides for bunker re-inforcement. I should be glad they haven’t learned to operate backhoes or combines. Are your marmots as afeered of bears as I is?

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: