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Jean Boone

Jean Boone was interviewed on August 27, 1991 by Dan O'Neill at the Boone's general store in Eagle, Alaska. Like many others in Eagle, Jean wondered if the University of Alaska Oral History Program might have been co-opted by a large grant from the National Park Service. The interviewer explained that complete, unedited recordings would be deposited in the University's oral history collection where they would be available for researchers. He further stated that while the University could not guarantee the work of every researcher given access to the tape, it could reassure her that the Oral History Program was not in the business of manufacturing good public relations for the National Park Service, or anybody else. Finally, Jean said she was willing to speak on the record about what she saw as the destructive influences of the National Park Service. But she wanted to make sure her words would not be taken out of context or edited in such a way as to make her comments critical of the National Park Service seem supportive. In this interview, Jean talks about the reaction of people in Eagle to the establishment of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and to National Park Service management regulations, and the protests and poor relationships that ensued. She also discusses the importance of protecting the subsistence lifestyle and preserving the natural beauty of the area.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-16

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Aug 27, 1991
Narrator(s): Jean Boone
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

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


1) Personal history and how she came to be a community leader in Eagle

2) Initial reactions in Eagle to plans for Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

3) Early activism in Eagle, the trespass, and the persons who attended the trespass

4) The many protest signs put up around Eagle to protest the Antiquities Act and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, and the mock graves Bill Brown faced when he came back to Eagle

5) Other protest actions Jean was involved with

6) The night that Bill Brown and his partner visited Eagle and were given a place to stay

7) Reasons for the protests and how Eagle residents felt betrayed by the Antiquities Act, and after the initial low-key approach of the park service how they felt themselves and their way of life to be endangered

8) Communications, sense of community in Alaska, and the sense of being an Alaskan

9) How the National Park Service people who came to design and run the Preserve were good people, but part of a bad total process.

10) How she and her husband tried to represent the "good concept" of preserving natural beauty to their children, but also how preservation ideas are wrongly expressed by park restrictions

11) Discusses aesthetics, development, and National Park Service protections that might be afforded lifestyles, versus the negative impact of the park and her suspicion that "the greed end of it would somehow get theirs" anyway

12) The political resistence movement in Eagle at the present time

13) Perceptions of the Yukon-Charley oral history project

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: Boone, Jean\ bush living - self sufficiency\ bush living - correspondence school\ lifestyle - subsistence\ bush living - children\ Alaska - attributes\ "the Park"|

Section 2: Eagle - attitudes\ Yukon-Charley - planning\ Bureau of Land Management\ government agencies - impact\ Native land claims\ ANCSA\ subsistence - non-Native\ fishing - subsistence\ Calico Bluff\ bush living - foods|

Section 3: Austin, Jeff\ Trespass protest - Antiquities Act\ Yukon-Charley - trespass - protest\ Fairbanks - Cantwell\ protests - trespass\ Austin, Louise\ Boone, Jean\ Boone, Jack\ Helmer, Mark\ Helmer, Dave\ Helmer, Ralph\ Hamilton, Steve\ McMullen, Terry\ McMullen, Patrick\ McMullen, Colleen\ Roy, Dave\ McDonald, Mary\ Waugh, Julie\ Christianson, Darrel\ Christianson, Kay\ Borg, John\ Borg, Barbara\ Kozarik, Richard\ Lynch, Mark\ Lynch, Karen\ Ostrander, John\ Boone, Daniel\ regulations - violations|

Section 4: Austin, Jeff\ protests - signs\ James, Vince\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ Alaska - federal government policy towards\ Boone, Jean\ Boone, Jack\ Hamilton, Steve\ Brown, Bill|

Section 5: auction\ Austin, Steve\ Alaskans United\ Eagle Action Together\ protests - signs\ Eagle city - protest\ Yukon-Charley - jobs|

Section 6: Waller, Sarge\ Brown, Bill\ Waugh, Julie|

Section 7: Boone, Jack\ Boone, Jean\ Brown, Bill\ lifestyle - subsistence\ preservation - community values\ Yukon-Charley - impact\ land use - wilderness\ "man-in-nature"\ protests - quotes\ government agencies - harassment\ National Park Service - inconsistencies\ Alaskans - values|

Section 8: Yukon-Charley - planning\ Yukon-Charley - subsistence\ subsistence - non-Native\ Alaska - sense of community\ bush living - values\ land - intangible values\ Antiquities Act\ river people\ hippies\ cabins - permits\ bush living - self sufficiency\ hunting\ fishing\ regulations - changes|

Section 9: Chase, Don\ Boone, Jean\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ Eagle - attitudes\ National Park Service - administrative discontinuity\ National Park Service - inconsistencies\ cabins - permits\ permits - uncertainties\ lifestyle - future of\ government agencies - land ownership|

Section 10: environmentalism - analogy to unions\ preservation - environment\ "bunny lovers"\ environmentalism\ Rampart Dam\ resources - development\ Yukon-Charley - jobs\ "man-in-nature"\ Alaska - mega-development|

Section 11: oil and gas - Doyon Corporation\ Eagle-Circle - road\ preservation - aesthetics\ development - aesthetics\ Yukon-Charley - wildlife populations\ National Park Service - inconsistencies\ Yukon-Charley - impact\ Yukon-Charley - visitors\ Eagle - attitudes\ Yukon-Charley - visitors\ Eagle - attitudes\ Yukon-Charley - personnel\ lifestyle - future of|

Section 12: Scott, Jim\ Scott, Elva\ Eagle Historical Society\ protests - trespass\ Yukon-Charley - civil disobedience\ Boone, Jean\ protest - stories\ Borg, John\ Yukon-Charley - jobs\ Eagle - attitudes\ "fence-sitters"\ protests - goals|

Section 13: Yukon-Charley - oral history project\ interviewers - bias\ interviewers - controversial subjects\ interviewees - concerns\ University Alaska Fairbanks - Oral History Program|