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Dave Mihalic, Part 1
Dave Mihalic 1991

Dave Mihalic was interviewed on October 9, 1991 by Dan O'Neill and William Schneider in Vail, Colorado where he was attending the 75th anniversary meeting of the National Park Service. In this first part of a two part interview, Dave talks about working as a ranger for the National Park Service in Alaska during the early days after passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) which established new national parks. He discusses serving on the Ranger Task Force and the Alaska Task Force, dealing with local antagonism towards the National Park Service, and serving as superintendent at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve where he dealt with a variety of land use issues, mine permits, and local opposition. Dave talks about his personal background, his preparation for the job, and the issues he faced.

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


1) Personal background and education

2) Job as Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Fairbanks District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management

3) Returning to work for the National Park Service.

4) Returning to Alaska after the Monuments Proclamation, and the anger that Alaskans expressed towards the proclamation

5) Being selected for the Ranger Task Force, and thoughts on the enforcement role of the National Park Service

6) Dealing with confrontations in Glennallen

7) Feelings about the Monuments Proclamation

8) Reaction to the Glennallen area's reaction to the Monuments Proclamation

9) What he felt he had to offer the Alaska Task Force and the National Park Service in Alaska

10) Precedent for the application of the Antiquities Act

11) The Alaska Task Force and the "nice-guy" syndrome

12) The unique nature of Alaska parks in regards to local knowledge of "land issues"

13) His assignment to work at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

14) His first year at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

15) Opposition to the National Park Service in Eagle.

16) Impact of the National Park Service on the Yukon-Charley Rivers area and the community of Eagle

17) Other issues that arose during his tenure at Yukon-Charley

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: Mihalic, Dave\ Southern Illinois University\ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers\ National Environmental Policy Act\ Oglala Sioux\ Michigan State University\ Glacier National Park\ park management|

Section 2: Mihalic, Dave\ Bureau of Land Management - Fairbanks District\ Bradley, Zorro\ Webb, Melody\ D-2 studies\ Alaska Land Use Council\ Federal-State Land Use Planning Commission|

Section 3: Mihalic, Dave\ Glacier National Park\ Yellowstone National Park\ Ranger Task Force - Alaska Task Force|

Section 4: Ranger Task Force - Alaska Task Force\ "Alaska time"\ Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park\ Glennallen - attitudes\ Yukon-Charley Rivers\ Brown, Bill\ Cook, John\ Eagle - attitudes\ "Heartbreak Hotel" - Glennallen\ Delashment, Harry\ Johnson, Craig\ Tazlina Glacier Lodge\ protests - burning of Cessna 185\ Ranger Task Force - comparison with "Freedom Riders"\ Monuments Proclamation\ National Park Service - attitudes towards|

Section 5: Ranger Task Force - Alaska Task Force\ Smith, Rick\ Tanner, Bill\ Weyland, Bill\ Townsley, John\ Rocky Mountain Special Events Team\ protests - Denali "trespass"\ National Park Service - civil disobedience against\ National Park Service - law enforcement\ law enforcement - NPS\ protests - Custer battlefield|

Section 6: Glennallen - attitudes\ Mihalic, Dave\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ job stress - NPS\ Alaska Task Force - attitudes\ public contacts - stories\ Alaska Task Force - stories\ "poachers"|

Section 7: Mihalic, Dave\ Monuments Proclamation\ local versus national interests\ Yukon-Charley - Monuments Proclamation\ Alaska - federal government policy towards\ Alaskans - attitudes \ "lock-up"\ environmental groups - coalitions\ ANCSA\ old pipeline - impact|

Section 8: Mihalic, Dave\ Duffy's Tavern - story\ Ellis, Bill\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ Glennallen - attitudes|

Section 9: Mihalic, Dave\ Alaskans - values\ conservation ethic\ National Park Service - goals\ preservation - land\ preservation - historic and cultural values\ gold rush\ National Park Service - place naming policy\ Yukon-Charley - values\ Allison, Carol\ Mertie Mountains - story|

Section 10: Antiquities Act of 1906\ Roosevelt, Theodore\ Carter, Jimmy\ ANILCA\ Eagle - attitudes\ Cook, John\ Weyland, John\ Mammoth Cave National Park\ National Park Service - attitudes towards|

Section 11: Cook, John\ Mihalic, Dave\ rangers - attitudes\ Johnson, Craig\ Delashment, Harry\ Park Service - personnel\ National Park Service - law enforcement\ rangers - backgrounds\ Alaska Task Force - law enforcement|

Section 12: Alaskans - knowledge of land issues\ land management\ Boone, Jack\ Foreman, Bill\ Eagle - attitudes\ public relations - "loyal opposition"\ Yukon-Charley - headquarters|

Section 13: Mihalic, Dave\ Yellowstone National Park\ Eagle\ Fort Egbert - BLM\ historic preservation - Fort Egbert\ Webb, Melody\ Helmer, Ralph\ James, Vince\ government agencies - procurement\ Circle - NPS presence\ Ambrose, Skip\ Yukon-Charley - procurement|

Section 14: Mihalic, Dave\ river people - relationship with NPS\ National Park Service - attitudes towards\ Boone, Jack\ Fay, Bean\ Yukon-Charley - planning\ public relations - Eagle\ public relations - Circle\ McDonald, Gordon\ Cook, John\ Yukon-Charley - park users\ Yukon-Charley - visitors\ Yukon-Charley - miners|

Section 15: Yukon-Charley - headquarters\ Morehead, Jack\ Chase, Don\ Eagle - attitudes\ "poachers"\ Mihalic, Dave\ Scott, Elva\ Scott, Jim\ National Park Service - attitudes towards|

Section 16: Coal Creek\ Slaven's Cabin\ Yukon-Charley - headquarters\ Eagle - attitudes\ Eagle - historic character\ Yukon-Charley - impact\ Dalle-molle, Lois|

Section 17: mining - Yukon-Charley\ Yukon-Charley - mining\ Layman, J.R.\ Layman, Dennis\ National Park Service - employee attitudes\ preserve versus park\ gold rush - historic value\ National Park Service - concept of history\ Vogler, Joe|