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Donald Chase
Donald Chase

Donald "Don" Chase was interviewed on August 26, 1991 by Dan O'Neill and William Schneider at his office in Eagle, Alaska. In this interview, Don Chase gives an administrative overview of issues faced during his tenure as superintendent of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Schneider worked for the Park Service during the mid-1970s when many of the topics here were just beginning to be discussed, so he brings a certain bias and perspective to this interview. Don talks about the challenges of applying National Park Service policies and regulations in a region with complicated land use and ownership issues, trying to manage subsistence in a way that protected the lifestyle, and dealing with local community and national environmental responses to National Park Service management.

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


1) Personal background, growing up, education, and his experience with the National Park Service

2) Earliest experiences in Alaska, and his reasons for wanting to live and work here

3) How he was assigned to Glacier Bay, and how he was reassigned to Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and why it is important to him

4) The political and social climate at the time of his assignment to Yukon-Charley and subsequent changes

5) Bill Brown's and Bob Howe's concerns regarding policy and goals for Yukon-Charley

6) The flexibility of National Park Service policy, in light of ANILCA, in regards to those residing on private land adjacent to and within Yukon-Charley

7) Discussions held in committees about ANILCA and subsistence use of the land

8) The mosaic of land ownership in Yukon-Charley, and how the development of or changing uses of private lands in and adjacent to the park may impact the area in the future

9) Private lands in and around Yukon-Charley, their acreages, and past and present uses

10) The difficulty of managing for the cultural value of the subsistence lifestyle, and whether or not the regulatory structure discourages the continuation of this use

11) Non-Native use in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and its significance

12) National Park Service attitudes towards non-Native people who came into the area during the 1970's to pursue a subsistence or bush lifestyle as opposed to their attitudes towards indigenous peoples

13) Whether the intention of ANILCA is to provide for or eliminate subsistence lifestyles, based on its provisions for the gradual elimination of residences on National Park Service lands

14) How ANILCA affected people living subsistence lifestyles within the park area and will affect the shape of subsistence use in the future

15) The problem of maintaining consistent policies and procedures through consecutive managers

16) Local versus national values represented by Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

17) His key experiences in Alaska as a National Park Service employee, and how they have affected his outlook and thinking

18) Impact of the Antiquities Act on park policy and the repercussions among local people

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: Chase, Don - background\ Glacier Bay National Monument\ National Park Service - goals\ Sogoda, Marco|

Section 2: Chase, Don - background\ Kantishna\ Wonder Lake\ Denali\ McGonigal Pass\ Alaska - attributes\ Koegel, Sandy|

Section 3: Chase, Don - background\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ Glacier Bay National Monument\ National Park Service - assignments\ National Park Service - goals|

Section 4: Chase, Don - background\ ANILCA\ Antiquities Act - protest\ Eagle - attitudes\ local versus national interests\ Conner, Roger\ Peterson, Bob\ Stenmark, Dick\ Brown, Bill\ Howe, Bob\ Yukon-Charley - early goals\ lifestyle - rural\ Eagle - concerns|

Section 5: Yukon-Charley - goals\ resources - development\ development - Yukon-Charley\ Glacier Bay National Monument - development\ Bartlett Cove\ concessionaires\ local attitudes\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ inholdings|

Section 6: regulations - flexibility\ concessionaires\ cabins - restoration\ National Park Service - policy\ ANILCA\ peregrine falcons\ law enforcement\ cabins - permits|

Section 7: Joint Resolution Committee\ HR - 39\ ANILCA - subsistence\ regulations - flexibility\ National Park Service - goals\ cabins - permits\ Woodruff, Don\ National Park Service - stories told about\ lifestyle - future of\ lifestyle - subsistence\ Brown, Randy|

Section 8: land ownership\ Yukon-Charley - inholdings\ private land\ Native Corporations - lands\ State lands\ lifestyle - subsistence\ Nation Townsite\ Biederman's Camp\ Native allotments\ lodges|

Section 9: Nation Townsite\ Native allotments\ Woodchopper\ mining - claims\ homesites\ lifestyle - subsistence\ land - ownership\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ permits - cabins\ river people\ Sierra Club\ public lands - use\ Smith, Richard\ "ninety-nine" provision\ Doyon Corporation|

Section 10: National Park Service - goals\ lifestyle - subsistence\ permits - cabins\ lifestyle - future of\ "ninety-nine" provision\ lands - private\ regulations - flexibility\ legislation - federal lands\ ANILCA\ population pressure\ Glacier Bay National Monument\ Beach, Rex|

Section 11: Caulfield, Rick\ subsistence - non-Native\ Seiberling, John\ Yukon-Charley - non-Native use\ Yukon-Charley - Native use\ Chief Charley\ Charley River\ Han Athabascans\ Takoma Bluff\ Woodchopper Bluff\ land use - historical\ Native allotments|

Section 12: National Park Service - attitudes\ river people\ lifestyle - 1970's\ Yukon-Charley - non-Native use\ regulations - flexibility\ lifestyle - subsistence\ National Park Service - goals\ ANILCA - Title 8\ Brown, Bill\ Bane, Ray|

Section 13: Eagle\ lifestyle - subsistence\ cabins - permits\ lynx\ trapping\ ANILCA - subsistence\ ANILCA - ambiguities\ subsistence - planning\ subsistence legislation - design of|

Section 14: ANILCA - subsistence\ private land\ river people\ Biederman's Camp\ Pickerel Slough\ Seventy-mile\ population pressure\ oil pipeline - impact of\ land use\ resources - development\ lifestyle - subsistence\ Yukon-Charley - non-Native use\ public lands - use\ public service|

Section 15: Yukon-Charley - management\ policy - inconsistencies\ river people - attitudes\ Antiquities Act - restriction\ Gravel, Mike\ Brown, Bill|

Section 16: local versus national interests\ Yukon-Charley - significance\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ trapping\ lifestyle - subsistence\ preservation\ environment - protection\ Yukon-Charley - educational role\ mining - National Park Service\ National Park Service - mining regulations\ National Park Service - lawsuits\ environmental groups\ mining - environmental impact statements\ Denali National Park\ Gates of the Arctic National Park\ Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park|

Section 17: Chase, Don - background\ Yukon-Charley - management\ Yukon-Charley - goals|

Section 18: Antiquities Act\ Antiquities Act - protest\ Brown, Bill\ lifestyle - subsistence\ river people\ Eagle - attitudes|