Isolated Paradise:
An Administrative History of the Katmai and Aniakchak National Park Units
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Cover photograph: Three Forks in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Here Knife and Windy Creeks join the River Lethe, which is part of the Ukak River basin. (Bruce Kaye, NPS)

List of Maps

List of Tables

List of Photographs

Author's Note


Part I: Katmai National Park and Preserve

1. An Overview of the Katmai Country

A Land of Topographic and Biotic Diversity
A Prehistoric Cultural Crossroads
Native and European Interaction, 1741-1867
A Perspective on the Early American Period, 1867-1912

2. Creation of Katmai National Monument, 1912-1918

The Eruption of Mount Katmai
Alaskans React to the Eruption
The National Geographic Society Shows an Interest
Griggs Discovers the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Toward the Protection of the Volcanic Area
The National Park Service Gets Involved
President Wilson Proclaims Katmai National Monument

3. An Era of Neglect: Monument Administration Before 1950

Reactions to the New Monument
Early Monument Visitors
Initial National Park Service Management
The 1931 Boundary Expansion
Users of the Monument, 1931-1936
The NPS Expresses an Interest
Trappers and the Kinsley Investigation
Carson and Been Visit the Monument
The 1942 Boundary Expansion
Attempts to Establish a Management Presence
Wartime Usage of the Monument
Pearson and Kuehl Visit the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Katmai Management Issues, 1945-1948
Alaskan Attempts to Dismantle the Monument
Management Activities, 1948-1950
Ray Petersen Establishes the Katmai Concession

4. Katmai Management, 1950-1969

NPS On-Site Operations Begin
Early Staffing
The Alaska Recreation Survey
Proposed Boundary Changes, 1951-1955
Questions About Access: Brooks Camp Airstrip Issues, 1954-1956
The Mission 66 Program
Master Plan Efforts, 1957-1960
Access Issues Related to Mission 66, 1956-1958
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Road
The Proposed Trans-Peninsula Highway
King Salmon Facility Establishment
Master Plan Activity, 1963-1967
Access Issues During the 1960s
Staff and Budget Growth
Creation of McNeil River State Game Sanctuary
Should Katmai Be Designated a National Park?

5. Katmai and The Alaska Lands Controversy, 1969-1980

Early Attempts to Resolve Statewide Lands Issues
The 1969 Boundary Expansion
Katmai Gets a Superintendent
Problems Administering the Monument, 1969-1974
Preparing a Master Plan and Wilderness Study
ANCSA and the d-2 Process
Katmai Issues a Master Plan
The 1974 Final Wilderness Statement
The Department of the Interior Considers an Expanded Park
Planners Weigh the Future of Katmai
Issues in Monument Administration, 1975-1980
The Proclamation of an Expanded Monument
Establishment of Katmai National Park and Preserve

6. Management of Katmai National Park and Preserve

Issues Relating to Brooks Camp Growth
Park Enforcement Activities
The King Salmon Headquarters Plan
Katmai Begins the Management Planning Process
Alagnak River Planning Efforts
Creation of a General Management Plan
Native Land Claims Become a Major Issue
The Melgenak Claim at Brooks Camp
The Peters Claim at Lake Camp
Backcountry Ranger Activities
The Katmai Wilderness Plan
Katmai Land Exchange Proposals
Park Activities, 1983-1992
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
The Brooks River Area Development Concept Plan

7. The Katmai Interpretive Program

Early Interpretation
Effects of Valley Road Construction
Evolution of Interpretive Themes
Growth in Backcountry Use
A Cooperative Association is Established
Interpretive Activities Since 1970
Interpretive Improvements

8. Fish and Aquatic Resource Management

Early Users and Investigations
Construction of the Brooks River Fish Ladder
Sport Fishing Before 1950
Sport Fishery Management, 1950-1976
Fisheries Research and Management Activities, 1950-1976
Fisheries Research and Management Activities Since 1976
Changes in Sport Fishing Regulations Since 1980
Use of Katmai's Fishery By Local Residents
Clamming Operations

9. Bear Management

Bears Become a Significant Management Element
Early Bear Management Policies
Problems with Brooks Camp Garbage
Katmai Bear Research, 1967-1969
Bear Management Activities, 1970-1974
Planning and Policy Development, 1975-1985
Bear Research in the 1980s and 1990s

10. Cultural Resource Management

Early Cultural Resource Concerns
The Katmai Project
University of Oregon Investigations
Archeological Work During the 1970s
Inventory and Nomination Activities
Recent Archeological Investigations
Development of Museum Collection

11. Minerals Management

Early Mineral Exploration
Mining in the Katmai Area, 1918-1945
Attempts to Extract Volcanic Ash
Mining Policies and Surveying Activities, 1945-1970
Proposed Offshore Oil Activities, 1960-1980
Mining and the Alaska Lands Act
Mining in Katmai After 1978

12. Other Resource Management Issues

Early Research Efforts
The Katmai Project
Astronauts in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
The Geophysical Institute's Work at Baked Mountain
Alaska Lands Act Biological Studies
Resource Management Since 1980
Novarupta Drilling Project
Exxon Valdez Resource Assessment Work
Subsistence Issues

Part II: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve

13. Aniakchak's Natural and Cultural History

Natural History
Native Use
Russian Exploration and Settlement
Fisheries Interests Invade the Area
Trapping and Oil Prospecting
USGS Surveyors Investigate Aniakchak Caldera
Father Hubbard Visits the Area
The Aniakchak National Monument Proposal (1931)
Land Use Development, 1931-1970

14. Aniakchak and the Alaska Lands Question

NPS Planning Efforts, 1964-1971
Interior Department Boundary Proposals
Interior Department Land Use Proposals
NPS Keyman Activities
Congress Establishes the Monument and Preserve

15. Management of Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve

Initial Planning Efforts
General Management, Land Protection, and Wilderness Plans
Wilderness Recommendations
Subsistence Management
Visitor Use
NPS Personnel Establish a Presence
Resource Management Activities



A. Growth in Katmai's Boundaries, 1918 to Present
B. Officials in Charge of the Katmai and Aniakchak NPS Units
C. Katmai/Aniakchak Budgets
D. Katmai Visitation Figures, 1966-1992

Selected Bibliography

Index (omitted from online edition)

Map 1. Location of the Katmai and Aniakchak NPS Units
Map 2. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Map 3. Evolution of Original Monument Boundaries, 1918
Map 4. Evolution of Expanded Monument Boundaries, 1930-1931
Map 5. Boundary Modification Proposals by Alaska Recreation Survey, 1952-1953
Map 6. Master Plan Development Proposals, 1971
Map 7. Proposed Katmai National Park Boundary, December 1973
Map 8. Proposed Katmai National Park Development Proposals, January 1975
Map 9. Brooks River Area, March 1983
Map 10. Aniakchak Bay Cultural Complex
Map 11. Location of Aniakchak Bay Fish Traps
Map 12. Sketch Map Showing Location of Aniakchak
Map 13. Proposed Aniakchak National Monument, 1931
Map 14. Aniakchak Administrative Proposals, 1973
Map 15. Aniakchak Sport Hunting Exclusion, September 2, 1972
Map 16. Koniag, Inc. Subsurface Rights, Granted January 2, 1976
Map 17. Aniakchak Proposals, 1977
Map 18. Aniakchak Boundaries, 1978-80
Map 19. Aniakchak Wilderness Recommendations, 1985-1988
Map 20. Hunting Guide Areas in Aniakchak National Preserve, 1988

Table 1. Commercial Use License Activity in Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve
Table 2. Visitation to Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, 1989-1992

Photo 1. John "Frenchy" Fournier, a Katmai-area trapper
Photo 2. Harry Featherstone and Roy Fure, trappers
Photo 3. Enforcement agent Carlos M. Carson and his wife
Photo 4. Old poacher's cabin at the mouth of Headwaters Creek
Photo 5. "Fox ranch" on Kiukpalik Island
Photo 6. Poacher's cabins on Takli Island
Photo 7. Louis Corbley, first NPS employee to visit Katmai
Photo 8. Mount McKinley Superintendent Frank Been
Photo 9. Grant Pearson in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Photo 10. Superintendent Pearson at Mount McKinley National Park
Photo 11. Willie Nancarrow, the first Katmai ranger
Photo 12. Katmai's first ranger station
Photo 13. The first interpretive brochure (1952)
Photo 14. The cache near the ranger station
Photo 15. Katmai Project scientists and support personnel at Kukak Bay
Photo 16. Katmai Project personnel in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Photo 17. Robert Luntey, NPS coordinator for the Katmai Project
Photo 18. Northern Consolidated plane arriving at Brooks Camp, 1959
Photo 19. Aerial photo of Kaguyak during the Katmai boundary survey, 1952
Photo 20. Advisory Board visit to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, 1965
Photo 21. George Hartzog and Mel Grosvenor during the Advisory Board trip
Photo 22. Mount McKinley Superintendent George Hall
Photo 23. Alaska's NPS planners, 1967
Photo 24. Katmai Superintendent Gil Blinn
Photo 25. Interior Secretary Rogers Morton
Photo 26. Alaska leaders meeting with President Ford
Photo 27. Research Bay, site of proposed visitor-development node
Photo 28. Katmai Superintendent David Morris
Photo 29. Salmon drying at the mouth of Brooks River
Photo 30. The weir at the head of Brooks River
Photo 31. Sport fishing at Brooks Falls
Photo 32. Brooks Falls fish ladder
Photo 33. Cannery at Kukak Bay
Photo 34. Swikshak Bay clam-canning operation
Photo 35. Roy Fure's cabin, storehouse, and cache, American Creek
Photo 36. Fure's Bay of Islands (Naknek Lake) cabin
Photo 37. Savonoski Village remains
Photo 38. Novarupta Volcano, July 1953
Photo 39. Astronauts visit the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Photo 40. An astronaut in training peers into the eroded ash deposits
Photo 41. A USGS scientist lectures to a large group of astronauts
Photo 42. A USGS geologist discusses Katmai's geological formations
Photo 43. Two astronauts gather geology specimens
Photo 44. The Bernard Hubbard party visits the north end of Aniakchak Bay
Photo 45. Inside Aniakchak Caldera, 1930, before Vent Mountain erupted
Photo 46. Father Hubbard flying in southwestern Alaska, 1931
Photo 47. Hubbard and Santa Clara University students in the caldera, 1932
Photo 48. Local resident drying salmon at the mouth of Aniakchak River
Photo 49. Columbia River Packers Association bunkhouse, Aniakchak Bay, 1973
Photo 50. Aniakchak Bay bunkhouse, 1990

Cover design by Wyndeth Davis, NPS.
Printed on contract from the Government Printing Office, Seattle, Washington.

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Last Updated: 24-Sep-2000