Tag Archives: Denali

Denali National Park: Journeying North

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Denali National Park and Preserve protects over six million acres (including over two million acres of federally designated wilderness) of boreal forest, tundra, and mountains in central Alaska. It also protects North America’s highest peak, an array of glaciers and braided streams cascading from the mountains, and an intact ecosystem enlivened by Alaska’s iconic large mammals.

The Park was established in 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park, largely to protect the astonishing herds of game, those large mammals, from over-hunting. Closest to the heart of hunter, amateur naturalist, and conservationist Charles Sheldon, who was instrumental in pushing for the Park, was the Dall Sheep, the only white wild sheep. Sheldon, a monied Easterner, was a member of Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell’s Boone and Crockett Club and secured the club’s support in helping guide the bill creating the Park through Congress in the eleven years it would take to win its passage.

Mount McKinley National Park was greatly expanded, and its name changed to Denali National Park (although the mountain’s name did not then change), in 1980 with the passage of the monumental Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which enacted the ultimate distribution of federal public lands in the state. With the passage of ANILCA and its signing into law by President Jimmy Carter in the waning days of his presidency, the Park was expanded from its original two million to its current over six million acres. Some 1.3 million of those acres are Denali National Preserve, where hunting is allowed. Most of the original Park became federal wilderness.

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Alaska: Planning

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The Alaska Range, Denali National Park.

Sean and I married in Chicago on August 15, 2015. At the ceremony we were surrounded by eighty family and friends. It was a beautiful evening full of happiness.

Image: Chris Murphy

Image: Chris Murphy

Three days later, on August 18, we departed on our honeymoon, a three-week long trip to Alaska that included three National Parks: Kenai Fjords, Denali, and Glacier Bay.

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