When the glaciers start melting,
Through archeological, ethnographic, and historic research it's known that people have been living in the Lake Clark region since the end of the last ice age.
...settled in the region some time after the close of the Last Great Ice Age 14,000 years ago. Dena'ina, Alutiiq, Yup'ik and other groups have interacted with one another over the centuries, through warfare as well as trading and peaceable exchanges.
The first written documents about Alaska date to 1741, when Russian explorers reached the Aleutian Islands. The sparse historical record for the eighteenth century hints at rapid change for the Alaska Natives in the Iliamna-Lake Clark region.
The Early American Years
In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States for the bargain price of 3 cents per acre. The purchase ushered in a new era of trade and connections with the industrializing world. The first Euro-American to give an account of Lake Clark itself was Charles Leslie McKay, collecting for the Smithsonian Institution in 1881.
The first aircraft to land on Lake Clark was a Waco 10 biplane on floats in 1930. The historic flight ushered in a new era and made life in Lake Clark more connected to the outside world.
As the country became more aware of wilderness areas in the 1960s and 1970s, Lake Clark began to receive more visitors. Some just passed through, but others put down roots and built cabins.
Richard Louis Proenneke (1916-2003) is an icon of wilderness living in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve. Born in Iowa, he worked as a farmhand and rancher before joining the Navy the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1949, he made his first visit to Alaska at the invitation of a friend...
Residents of communities around the Park and Preserve have hunted, fished and gathered from the land for many generations. Six Resident Zone Communities are identified for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the enabling legislation for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and other Alaska public lands, stipulates that all rural people may continue subsistence practices on federal lands, including the park and preserve.
Cultural anthropologists and historians promote the identification, evaluation, documentation, and interpretation of ethnographic resources in the National Park System.
Did You Know?
Dall's sheep are the only wild sheep in the world with a white coat. Because they prefer steep, mountainous habitat, spotting a sheep is a rare treat in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.