Historic Resource Study
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This historical narrative, of the Denali region in Alaska, aims to meet three needs:

  1. to provide context for evaluation and understanding of the historic resources of Mount McKinley, now Denali National Park and Preserve, and—together with the forthcoming historic-sites volume—a basis for preserving and managing those resources;

  2. to provide a comprehensive historical overview and thematic development to assist park interpretation; and

  3. to give park managers a sense of the park's historical continuity, its recurrent problems, and its evolving management philosophy.

In my mind, the operational values of this study are as important as its historic-site evaluations. For Mount McKinley-Denali started as an ideal, and the history of its management—its swings of policy—portray the struggle to retain that ideal. Former Superintendent Robert C. Cunningham defined this management-history thrust, urging it as a reminder and aspiration to guide succeeding managers who must also face the pressures that would dilute the park ideal, originally given form by the park's founding father, Charles Sheldon.

Delays in publication of this Historic Resource Study were caused by my transfer and subsequent illness, followed by retirement. The site volume and bibliography are still in preparation with their publication to follow by 1993. It was urged that this historical narrative volume be published at this time so it could begin being useful to the park.

William E. Brown
Gustavus, Alaska

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Last Updated: 04-Jan-2004