Alpine lakes and forest, Denali National Park, Alaska, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith, August 6, 2008
Denali National Park, formerly known as Mount McKinley National Park, offers breathtaking views of terrain ranging from low-elevation forests dotted with lakes to alpine tundra and snowy peaks. Caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, and other species roam freely within the park’s six million acres of diverse vegetation.
Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Preserving Alaskan Wilderness
Since the 1870s, Congress has created more than 400 national parks to conserve wild lands, promote recreation, and celebrate the nation’s heritage. To oversee these areas, Congress established the National Park Service in 1916. Persuaded by naturalist Charles Sheldon and other conservationists, Congress established Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska in 1917 to protect North America’s highest mountain. The Alaskan National Lands Conservation Act of 1980 vastly expanded the protected area to six million acres and renamed it Denali National Park.
Is it too much to expect this unrivaled work of nature will take its place among the important assets, not only of Alaska but of the nation as a whole?
Robert Sterling Yard, “Mount McKinley National Park: An Economic Asset,” Establishment of Mount McKinley National Park . . . , 1916