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Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
When Mount McKinley National Park was established in 1917, conservation was considered a fad. The attitude of Alaskans mirrored that of most Americans, which was that resources and wildlife were to be used and exploited, not preserved. The public is invited to join local resident Tom Walker as he presents “Heart of the Park: Wildlife, Attitudes Then and Now” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 2 in the Denali Visitor Center, located at Mile 1.2 on the Denali Park Road. In the program he will explore, through a historical perspective, the role of a national park in both the protection of wildlife and evolving public attitudes.
Walker is a full-time freelance writer and photographer specializing in natural history and wildlife. He has resided in Alaska for forty years, and is regarded as one of the state’s premier nature photographers. His publication credits include over a dozen books, and articles in numerous national, local, and international publications. In 2006 he was presented with the Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Daniel Houseberg “Lifetime Achievement Award” for still photography.
Copies of some of the books written by Walker will be available for sale and signing by the author at the Denali Bookstore following the presentation. One of the titles that will be on hand is the recently published “Kantishna: Mushers, Miners, Mountaineers”, a history of the area’s early gold rush years before the establishment of the national park.
This presentation is the sixth in the special 90th Anniversary Summer Speaker Series, which is featuring seven Alaskan authors who have written about Denali’s cultural heritage and natural history from a variety of viewpoints. The programs are free of charge. The final presentation will take place on Thursday, August 23. Additional information on the speaker and the park’s anniversary is available at www.nps.gov/dena.
General information on the park and other activities is also available on the web site, or by calling the park headquarters at (907) 683-2294 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily.