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Laura Cross
Laura Cross

Laura Cross was interviewed on August 28, 1991 by Dan O'Neill on the bluff above the Yukon River in Eagle, Alaska. Dan O'Neill was sitting in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve's visitor's center when Laura came in to get tourist information. Dan overheard her say she had come to Alaska to "claim my national interest lands." She said she had worked hard back in the 1970s to get the various D-2 lands established as conservation units, and now she had come to see as much of them as she could. Thinking that it was fortuitous to meet an "outside conservationist," O'Neill asked if she might like to say on tape what motivated her to campaign for the park lands in distant Alaska, and what they meant to her. She agreed readily, and Dan and Laura talked while sitting on a picnic table near the bluff behind the National Park Service headquarters building. In this interview, Laura talks about her involvement with the effort to protect Alaska land as conservation units, what wilderness means to her, and her perceptions of subsistence and the local response to the creation of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-19

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Aug 28, 1991
Narrator(s): Laura Cross
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Personal background and her volunteer work

2) Involvement with national parks in Alaska, her concept of what a wilderness means, especially as regards human impact, and how different she perceives Alaska standards of preservation to be

3) Hher hope that ANILCA will protect what she perceives to be valuable in the park and preserve area

4) Her conception of the subsistence lifestyle, its value, and its relationship to the preservation of wilderness

5) Her conception of what persons in the Eagle area might have felt when faced with the restrictions of the AntiquitIes Act and subsequent management changes, versus her concerns about development and the preservation of wilderness values

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Section 1: Cross, Laura\ American Hiking Society\ National Park Service - volunteer work\ Student Conservation Association\ Great Gulf Wilderness\ land use - wilderness\ wilderness - legislation\ U.S. Forest Service - volunteer work\ Superstition Wilderness\ environmental education|

Section 2: National Park Service - Alaska\ "outside conservationist"\ preservation - activism\ land use - wilderness\ lifestyles - city\ public lands - concepts\ federal lands - legislation\ ANILCA\ preservation - human impact\ wilderness - standards|

Section 3: wilderness - standards\ preservation - human impact\ subsistence lifestyle - impact\ ANILCA\ land use - subsistence\ subsistence - non-Native\ cultural values - subsistence\ Glennallen\ hunting\ fishing - subsistence\ trapping|

Section 4: ANILCA\ Cross, Laura\ Yukon-Charley - visitors|

Section 5: subsistence lifestyle - future of\ resources - development\ cabins - permits\ preservation - importance of\ bush living - importance\ wilderness - importance\ National Park Service - conflicts\ Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore|