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Ted Swem, Interview 2, Part 3

This is a continuation of an interview with Ted Swem by Bill Schneider on July 6, 1993 at his home in Evergreen, Colorado. In this third part of a four part interview, he talks about the new director of the National Park Service, the Alaska Planning Group, Ron Walker's trip to Alaska, environmental impact statements, presentations to Washington D.C. about the Gates of the Arctic, the Yukon Charley and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks, and the Congressional delegation and Office of Management and Budget briefings. 

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-28

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
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) New director of the National Park Service

2) The establishment of the Alaska Planning Group

3) The Alaska Planning Group

4) Overlapping issues of different agencies relating to the lands withdrawals

5) Ron Walker's trip to Alaska

6) Park area recommendations

7) The Alaska Planning Group and environmental impact statements

8) Presentation of study areas at Washington D.C. meeting

9) Gates of the Arctic presentation to Washington D.C. meeting

10) Yukon-Charley Rivers presentation

11) The Charley River and Noatak areas

12) The Wrangell Mountains and other areas where nothing was known about their values

13) The new director of the National Park Service, Gary Everhardt

14) Congressional delegation and Office of Management and Budget briefings

15) Final land withdrawal recommendations in 1973

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Walker, Ronald -- replacement\ Nixon, Richard\ Walker -- little background in NPS\ Alaska -- briefing\ Walker -- supportive and involved\ Swem, Ted -- reports to Walker\ National Park Service -- changes\ Walker -- memos to

Section 2: meetings\ Assistant Secretary for Wildlife and Parks\ Reed, Nat\ Second World Park Conference -- Yellowstone 1972\ agencies differences\ Swem, Ted -- chair\ Hartzog, George\ Alaska Planning Group\ Forest Service\ Bureau of Land Management\ agencies -- others in attendance

Section 3: Alaska Task Force\ Henson, Al\ Watson, Gordon\ Alaska Task Force in the Field\ meetings -- organizations\ issues resolved\ Swem, Ted -- chairmanship\ Walker, Ron\ (Eberhart), Gary\ National Park Service\ National Park Service studies -- compromise

Section 4: areas -- overlapping interest\ Yukon\ Yukon-Charley\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ Seward Peninsula\ Chukchi-Imuruk area\ proposal -- recommendations\ Noatak

Section 5: Walker, Ron\ Rutter, John\ Henson, Al\ National Park Service -- representative\ Walker, Ron -- return\ trips -- details\ travel -- airplane\ Walker, Ron -- supportive\ Walker, Ron -- attitudes toward

Section 6: National Park Service -- study groups\ recommendations\ team captains\ Swem, Ted -- devil's advocate\ Chukchi-Imuruk\ Reynolds, John\ alternative ways to handle\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ proposal -- developed by individual agencies\ conflicts -- resolution

Section 7: Alaska Planning Group\ development -- Environmental Impact Statement\ L Street Building\ agencies -- five involved in Alaska\ Department of the Interior\ agencies -- working together\ Reffalt, Bill -- Fish and Wildlife\ Alaska Planning Group\ Reynolds, John

Section 8: Alaska Planning Group\ recommendations\ meeting -- assistant secretary\ National Park Service -- Alaska representatives\ Miller, Ivan\ approvals\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ Bureau of Outdoor Recreation\ meeting -- structure\ Eastman, Bob\ Watt, Jim\ Tileston, Jules\ Geological Survey\ Bureau of Mines\ inclusion -- lands\ Bureau of Land Management\ land reservations

Section 9: Kauffman, John\ Miller, Ivan\ issues\ lands -- not included\ Gates\ Eskimo -- park of their own\ proposal -- assistant secretary\ Native park -- support for\ lands -- protected\ Anaktuvuk\ Hickok -- involvement

Section 10: values interested in\ river\ watershed\ land -- exchange\ Tatonduk River\ (Nation) Section River\ historic values\ natural values\ peregrine falcon -- nest\ values -- wild river\ proposal -- federal committee\ map\ natural area -- protect\ nature reserve\ Stenmark, Dick\ Alaska Conservation Group\ Charley River area -- not much known initially\ Gates\ Eagle\ Yukon\ exhibits -- Yukon-Charley\ National Geographic\ mammals -- ice age\ paleontological value\ Allison, Carol

Section 11: Stenmark, Dick\ influence -- March withdrawals\ Charley River -- little known\ Noatak -- nothing known\ Alaska Conservation Group

Section 12: flying over\ Wrangell Proposal -- 1973\ international park\ Canada -- instigators\ Aniakchak\ Mt. Veniaminof -- "Mt. V"\ volcanism\ Kobuk Sand Dunes\ Giddings, Louis\ Koyukuk -- sand dunes\ geology -- unusual features\ Aniakchak\ glacier priest -- Father Hubbard

Section 13: Walker, Ron -- left NPS\ Alaska Planning Group\ Everhardt, Gary -- supportive of NPS

Section 14: Swem, Ted -- visit with Congress\ (Gravel), Senator\ Young, Congressman Don\ Stevens, Senator\ proposal -- presented\ Alaska Congressional delegation -- reservations\ Bureau of Budget\ Congressional briefings\ Office of Management and Budget\ McKittrick, Harry\ National Park Service -- budget\ Sawhill, John\ Department of the Interior\ deadline\ rapid review\ Sawhill, John -- sympathetic\ new classifications\ Noatak\ Chukchi-Imuruk\ wilderness\ Gates of the Arctic\ proposals -- sent to other departments\ Department of Commerce\ Morton -- proposal announcement\ publicity\ Immediate Wilderness Declaration of Gates of the Arctic

Section 15: Forest Service -- larger acreage\ Secretary of the Interior\ Secretary of Agriculture\ Means, Larry\ compromise\ 1973\ legislation\ ecology -- areas of concern\ ANCSA\ D-1 lands\ Bureau of Land Management\ lands -- protection\ National Park Service\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ 80 million acreage\ D-2 lands\ D-1 withdrawal\ D-1 & D-2 lands adjacent\ National Interest Lands -- D-2 lands\ ANCSA -- no land acreage limits\ Morton, Secretary\ 83 million -- final acreage\ values -- relating to lands\ areas of ecological concern\ ANILCA\ park units\ wildlife refuge units\ areas of ecological concern