Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument (10,950,000 acres) was established along with 16 other national monuments on November 16, 1978. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of November 12, 1980 established Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve and nine other national parks, and designated 56,000,000 acres of wilderness.
The purpose of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve was and is:
- to maintain the natural scenic beauty of the diverse geologic, glacial, and riparian dominated landscapes
- to protect the attendant wildlife populations and their habitats
- to ensure continued access for a wide range of wilderness-based recreational opportunities
- to provide continued opportunities for subsistence use
The mission of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is to:
preserve and protect ecological integrity and heritage resources of a vast ecosystem in south-central Alaska, while providing for public use in a wilderness setting. Wrangell St. Elias, at 13.2 million acres, was specifically designated to encompass an area large enough to include a diverse range of scenery, high latitude biomes, and landscape level processes where man is considered an integral part of the ecosystem. Ecosystem integrity and carefully planned public use is essential so there is opportunity for the continuation of subsistence lifestyles, future scientific investigations, interpretation of natural forces, and the inspiration and solitude of wilderness experience for present and future generations. Compatible public uses and increased access, where appropriate, will be promoted to the extent that the quality of the experience and the natural and cultural resources are maintained.