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Originally published Monday, February 1, 2010 at 9:37 AM

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Without groundhogs, Alaska to celebrate Marmot Day

Alaska now has its own version of Groundhog Day.

The Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska —

Alaska now has its own version of Groundhog Day.

Then-Gov. Sarah Palin signed a bill last year to make every Feb. 2 Marmot Day in Alaska.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Linda Menard, a Wasilla Republican.

Because groundhogs are not common in Alaska, Menard says it made sense for the marmot to become Alaska's version of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog famed for his winter weather forecasts.

Menard's bill didn't give marmots any weather forecasting duties, but she hopes the state will create educational activities around the animal.

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Information from: Juneau Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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