Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Ted Swem, Interview 2, Part 1

Ted Swem was interviewed by Bill Schneider on July 6, 1993 at his home in Evergreen, Colorado. Ted was also interviewed by Bill Schneider on October 10, 1991 (ORAL HISTORY 91-22-25 and 91-22-26). Ted was the key person in the National Park Service for development of National Park areas in Alaska. In these interviews, he traces the history of National Park Service interest in Alaska and the various people who played a role in identifying, studying, and helping to promote the "new" National Interest Lands, which were finally established under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980. Swem's account is the the story of Washington D.C. and the connections with Alaskan operations, a story not well known in Alaska. In this first of a four part interview, Ted talks about Alaska national parks in the 1960s and 1970s, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and studying lands for inclusion in new national parks.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-26

Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Jul 6, 1993
Narrator(s): Ted Swem, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) 1969 Monument Proclamation under President Johnson

2) The initial interest in developing national parks in Alaska

3) Master Plan Study of Mount McKinley National Park in 1968

4) Nixon Administration and Alaskan parks development

5) Skagway and the Gold Rush story

6) A joint National Park Service and Canadian Gold Rush parks committee

7) The Skagway proposal to Walter Hickel

8) Things going on in Alaska during Hickel's tenure as Secretary of the Interior

9) His next involvement in Alaska parks in 1971

10) Gates of the Arctic and Senator Bible's trip to Alaska

11) Traveling by plane around Alaska

12) Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

13) The signing of ANCSA by Nixon

14) Ted being in charge of Alaska lands studies

15) Alaska study teams in the early 1970's as related to ANCSA

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Section 1: Juneau\ Riley, Burke -- Interior Representative under Johnson\ Johnson, Lyndon B.

Section 2: proclamations 1965\ Hartzog, George -- Director of National Park Service\ Alaska -- park potential\ Collins, George\ Kauffman, John\ Luntey, Bob\ Leonard, Doris\ Conservation Associates\ Washington, D.C.\ Corbett, John\ Swem, Ted\ report\ Service\ Bureau of Land Management\ report -- not released\ 1972\ report -- a resource\ ANCSA

Section 3: Rutter, John\ Wayburn, Ed\ Sierra Club\ Conservation Organization\ Olson, Sig\ Secretary of the Interior\ Donau, Al\ concessions

Section 4: Hickel, Walter\ 1967\ National Park System\ Skagway\ McMurray, Carl\ 1969\ Hartzog, George\ Kaiser, Ed\ Washington D.C.\ Kaiser Aluminum\ Denver Broncos\ Special Assistant to Walter Hickel -- Kaiser, Ed\ Curry Ridge\ Mt. McKinley National Park\ TWA\ National Park Service\ preliminary site plan\ Mt. McKinley\ hotel -- fell through\ Kaiser, Ed\ Pacific Northwest

Section 5: 1967\ Hickel, Governor Walter\ Hartzog, George\ Skagway\ Gold Rush story\ McMurray, Carl\ Skagway -- national landmark\ 1969 -- study follow up

Section 6: National Park Service\ Canadian National Park Service\ joint committee\ hike\ Dyea\ Chilkoot Pass\ Lake Bennett\ Canada participants\ provincial government\ Howe, Bob\ Glacier Bay\ Anchorage -- school teacher\ Esbensen, Yvonne\ Dyea\ gold rush -- artifacts\ canvas boat\ Yukon Drainage\ Lake Bennett\ Whitehorse\ Dawson\ Bennett, Peter -- Historic Parks Unit of Canadian Park Service

Section 7: Esbensen, Yvonne\ proposal\ story -- Yvonne Esbensen\ Bennett, Peter\ legislation\ Ryan, Pat\ electric power\ ANCSA\ Skagway proposal\ Hickel -- left office\ Morton, Rogers -- Maryland Congressman

Section 8: Horton, Jack\ ANCSA\ study\ pipeline\ agencies -- Interior\ National Park Service -- not involved in pipeline\ story -- Secretary Hickel\ Thomas, Lowell\ Stenmark, Dick\ Hickel, Walter\ Hartzog, George\ Morton, Rogers\ committee -- abolished

Section 9: Alaska -- 1970 no involvement\ Hartzog, George\ Bible, Senator Allen -- Nevada\ National Park Subcommittee -- Senate\ map -- development\ parks -- new areas\ Mt. McKinley -- trip\ Wayburn, Ed

Section 10: National Park exhibit\ Gates of the Arctic\ country -- west of Gates\ Brooks Range Proposal\ Arctic Coast\ Gates of the Arctic -- extension\ Bible -- interested in National Parks\ Hartzog, George

Section 11: travel -- plane

Section 12: ANCSA\ Hickok, Dave\ Fitzgerald, Joe\ Hickock, Dave -- sympathetic with Natives\ Legislation -- recognize Native rights\ Alaska Statehood\ Allin, Roger\ Statehood Act -- no Native recognition\ Statehood Act\ land -- selection\ Native claims\ Native opposition\ Udall, Secretary Stewart\ Nixon Administration\ Hickel, Walter\ Udall, Bill\ "Act of Congress to take care of Native rights"\ ANCSA -- December 1971\ Native claim issue\ Alaska lands -- national interest\ national park and refuge lands\ conservationists\ Wilderness Society\ Crandell, Harry\ Scott, Doug\ Hickok, Dave\ national interest lands\ Hartzog, George\ Bible Amendment -- ANCSA\ D2 provision\ ANCSA -- summary\ land withdrawal -- National Park Service\ areas of national interest -- submitted December 1973

Section 13: Lambe, Mike -- National Park Service legislation head\ Bracken, Frank\ Morton Administration\ Lambe, Mike -- story\ Nixon, Richard\ ANCSA -- signing

Section 14: Hartzog, George\ Swem, Ted -- responsible for Alaska land studies\ ANCSA -- signing\ Pecora, Bill\ Silcock, Burt\ BLM\ Bracken, Frank\ administrators -- little knowledge about ANCSA\ Morton, Secretary -- "Do things right the first time"

Section 15: kickoff meeting\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ National Park Service\ maps -- development\ Means, Larry\ Refuge System\ Hartzog, George\ Reed, Nat\ areas of interest\ To Have and To Hold -- 1971\ waterfowl\ production and protection\ George Collins Report -- 1965\ Alaska Task Force Report\ Stenmark, Dick\ National Park Service