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Bob Belous, Part 1
Bob Belous

Bob Belous was interviewed on October 8 and 9, 1991 by William Schneider and Dan O'Neill in Vail, Colorado where he was attending the 75th anniversary meeting of the National Park Service. Bob knew Bill Schneider from the mid-1970s when they were both working out of the Anchorage office of the National Park Service. In this first part of a two part interview, Bob speaks personally about his thinking and what he was trying to do when helping to create the subsistence provisions (Title 8) in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980. He speaks with precise logic and reason, but also with concern and care for how the policy has been received and how it might be fine tuned to the conditions as they exist today. Bob also asks that listeners take care not to reference his remarks out of context since the issue is so very complex.

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Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-23

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Oct 8, 1991
Narrator(s): Bob Belous
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill, Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
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1) Professional background

2) Initial involvement with the National Park Service

3) Why his background was appropriate to the Alaska Task Force work, and some of the organizations and people that were important to early Park Service policy in Alaska

4) Circumstances unique to Alaska that challenged established Park Service policies and values

5) People and experiences that influenced his views on subsistence and other Alaskan issues

6) How his understanding of subsistence lifestyles and needs learned from his Kobuk River work began to influence park service policy

7) Subsistence studies going on around the state in the 1970s

8) Early reactions of Park Service managers to the subsistence studies and recommendations of the Alaska Task Force

9) The problem of determining who subsistence users are

10) The future of subsistence and new subsistence users

11) The popularization of Alaska and the possible impact of an influx of would-be subsistence users into the Alaskan bush

12) How he justifies the park and preserve system as a trade-off of certain lifestyles and land uses for the benefits of preservation

13) Difficulty of accommodating cultural values in a preservation scheme, and the possibility of change in the regulatory structure

14) The contribution of Stell Newman to Park Service policy development

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Section 1: Belous, Bob - background\ U.S. Merchant Marine Academy\ Rickover program - nuclear submarines\ Thresher class submarine\ Puget Sound Naval Shipyard - Bremerton\ oil exploration - environmental engineering\ Belous, Bob - publications\ Prudhoe Bay - Exxon|

Section 2: Channel Islands National Park\ Grand Teton National Park\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ Alaska Task Force\ Swem, Ted\ Belous, Bob\ Environmental Impact Statements - D-2 lands|

Section 3: Sierra Club\ National Park Service - Alaska\ The Wildlife Federation\ The Wilderness Society\ Murie, Olaus\ Arctic Wildlife Range\ Alaska Task Force\ Swem, Ted\ Brown, Bill\ Henson, Al\ Rutter, John\ National Park Service - values\ Schaeffer, John|

Section 4: lifestyles - subsistence\ subsistence - subtleties\ Kotzebue Sound - fishing\ fishing - subsistence\ Cape Krusenstern\ traditional knowledge - fishing\ National Park Service - historic preservation\ cultural values - sensitivity to|

Section 5: Bradley, Zorro\ Kobuk River\ Belous, Bob\ Onion Portage\ Cooperative Park Studies Unit\ Saint Lawrence Island\ Point Hope - archaeology\ Shinkwin, Ann\ Gray, Minnie\ Anderson, Doug\ Lee, Tommy\ Giddings, Louis\ Noatak River\ place names - mistakes\ oral tradition - place names\ Ambler\ Shungnak\ Kobuk Village|

Section 6: National Park Service - subsistence policy\ National Park Service - history in Alaska\ Chukchi-Imuruk\ Cape Krusenstern\ Belous, Bob\ subsistence - subtleties\ Kotzebue Sound\ Noatak River|

Section 7: Bradley, Zorro\ Belous, Bob\ Bane, Ray\ Hughes\ trails - dog sledding\ National Park Foundation Journal - Ray Bane article\ Bryant, John\ Nelson, Dick\ Kuuvangmiit study\ Uhl, Bob|

Section 8: Kauffman, John\ subsistence subtleties\ subsistence - boundaries\ National Park Service - subsistence policy\ Denali National Park - subsistence\ Alaska Federation of Natives\ National Park Service - history in Alaska\ ANILCA - Title 8\ subsistence - legislation|

Section 9: subsistence users - defining\ subsistence - non-Native\ National Park Service - subsistence policy\ fishing - subsistence\ subsistence - regulations\ subsistence - future of\ State of Alaska - subsistence policy\ hunting - subsistence\ subsistence - use of aircraft\ hunting - sport\ dall sheep - hunting|

Section 10: subsistence - dynamics\ subsistence - new users\ subsistence - future of\ land management - changes\ historical use - subsistence\ population - villages\ Red Dog Mine - jobs\ preservation - cultural values\ river people - attrition\ National Park Service - subsistence policy\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ preservation - natural resources\ cabins - permits\ permits - limited|

Section 11: population pressure\ human impact\ subsistence - future of\ cabins - impact\ gold rush - impact\ National Park Service - subsistence policy\ subsistence - Alaska Supreme Court\ bush living - challenges\ McPhee, John\ "frontier mythos"\ bush living - motivations|

Section 12: National Park Service - concept of history\ Coal Creek dredge - historic preservation\ park system - social contract\ Alaska - federal government relationship to\ Channel Island - land condemnation\ preservation - aesthetics\ preservation - significant values\ subsistence - significance|

Section 13: National Park Service - subsistence policy\ regulations - flexibility\ land use - changes\ subsistence - future of\ historical use\ Kobuk River - comparison to Yukon-Charley\ preservation - significant values\ Shishmaref\ hunting - marine mammals|

Section 14: Newman, Stell\ Bering Land Bridge\ reindeer herding\ antler sales - reindeer\ fishing - Shishmaref|