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Mount McKinley and the Alaska Range . . . , photograph by Eugene Omar Goldbeck for the National Photo & News Service, ca. 1958

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Mount McKinley and the Alaska Range . . . , photograph by Eugene Omar Goldbeck for the National Photo & News Service, ca. 1958

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