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Allan, T.C., 2010

Locked up!: A history of resistance to the creation of national parks in Alaska

Bibliographic Reference

Allan, T.C., 2010, Locked up!: A history of resistance to the creation of national parks in Alaska: Pullman, Washington, Washington State University, Ph.D. dissertation, 276 p., illust., maps.


In Alaska few issues inspire as much heated debate as restrictions on the use of public lands. This is particularly true regarding the creation of national parks and their management by the National Park Service. Since Alaska´s earliest years as an American possession, the relationship between the federal government and the residents of Alaska has been a contentious one as local people struggled to satisfy their immediate needs and aspirations while politicians and land managers based in Washington, D.C., selected Alaskan lands in the national interest. This study examines the tumultuous history of the creation of national park units in Alaska, focusing on the conflicts triggered by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, the use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments in 1978, and the creation of 80 million acres of national parklands by the Alaska National Interest Lands Act in 1980. The study brings to the foreground the voices of protestors who attempted to block the creation of national parks in the state and to resist the management of parks by the National Park Service. Whereas most histories of this period focus on the political struggles between conservationists and Alaskan politicians, this study resurrects a largely undocumented chapter in the history of Alaska´s land debate by examining the reactions of Alaskans living near new national parks who launched energetic and sustained protests to protect their way of life.

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