Isolated Paradise:
An Administrative History of the Katmai and Aniakchak National Park Units
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Pictures cannot bring back the Valley of the Smokes. They have lost the awesomeness that lies in the setting. You may build in memory, but never reproduce the scenes which lie beyond the Katmai Pass. They seem too big to be a part of the rest of the world. They do not connect up with the little things which are built into our lives.

— Donovan B. Church, 1917, in Robert F. Griggs,
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, p. 217.

Katmai National Monument serves no use and should be abolished.

— Thomas C. Riggs, Annual Report of
the Governor of Alaska
, 1919, p. 45.

Katmai Monument is a principality in itself. It is substantially unknown even to the federal service which theoretically administers it, but every time an effort is made to do something constructive, the reminder is given that we must keep on thinking of the generations yet unborn and must give no thought to those now living. Of course, any sensible person will agree that if Katmai possesses scenic resources such as we are told it does (although no one knows very much about them), then perhaps a good argument can be made for saving scenic values unspoiled for those who are to come, but I submit this still can be done without applying such a heavy brush in the withdrawal orders.

— Alaska Delegate E. L. Bartlett to
Secretary of the Interior Julius A. Krug,
May 21, 1947, in Bartlett collection

Katmai National Monument is first of all a wilderness landscape, a place where the imprint of wildlife is greater than that of people, where clear lakes and rivers abound, where nearly two hundred miles of coastline bear little sign of man, and where steaming volcanoes rise above the entire scene. It is a land of uncrowded spaciousness, a place where people can experience wilderness on its own terms without the distraction of hordes of other visitors. It is a place where time and change are measured by the sun, the tides, and the seasons rather than clocks and calendars. Katmai, in short, is an experience set in the wild, and perhaps it is even a frame of mind.

— Supt. Gilbert E. Blinn, in Dave Bohn,
Rambles Through an Alaskan Wild: Katmai
and the Valley of the Smokes
, 1979, p. 19.

Map. 1. Location of the Katmai and Aniakchak NPS units. Source: NPS, General Management Plan for Katmai, October 1986, 4.

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Last Updated: 24-Sep-2000