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Bill Brown, Interview 1, Part 2
Bill Brown

This is the continuation of an interview with Bill Brown on May 7, 1991 by William Schneider in front of Bill's house in Gustavus, Alaska. In this second part of a two part interview, Bill continues to talk about his work as a historian with the National Park Service in Alaska. He discusses historic preservation and research projects he worked on at Sitka National Historical Park, in villages in northern Alaska, and at Denali National Park and Preserve. He mentions the life of people, like his son Randy Brown, living a subsistence-based lifestyle in the area of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. And finally, he reflects on his career and his concerns about the state of the world and the future of the National Park Service.

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


1) The period after his initial involvement in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

2) His work on the North Slope, and getting Native viewpoints "cracked into" the planning process

3) Continuation of talking about working on the North Slope of Alaska

4) Working in Alaska

5) Changes in the National Park Service

6) Influence of the Wilderness Society

7) Working in Denali National Park and Preserve

8) Conflict of interests at Denali National Park and Preserve

9) His son, Randy Brown, and his choice to live on the Yukon-Charley Rivers

10) Thoughts on the river people leaving Eagle

11) Reflections on his career

12) Plans for the future

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: Alaska Task Force\ Russian Bishop's House\ Sitka National Historic Site\ Sitka National Monument|

Section 2: National Petroleum Reserve Alaska\ Hickock, Dave\ Alaska Environmental Information and Data Center|

Section 3: Underwood, Larry\ socio-economic study\ Barrow\ North Slope Borough\ Bartel, Herb\ fish camps\ arctic coast\ historic sites\ ANCSA\ village|

Section 4: Wainwright\ publications\ village viewpoints\ Cook, John\ Yukon-Charley\ grave monuments\ Eagle Roadhouse\ 1979 rehired with National Park Service\ Snow, Dave\ Skagway\ surveys\ Hart, Leslie|

Section 5: general managment plan\ site surveys\ data\ Ring, Dick\ cultural resources\ policy\ cultural sites\ Gates of the Arctic\ Marshall, Bob\ mining\ game harvesting\ Brooks Range\ Native Historic sites\ steamboats\ trading posts\ remnants|

Section 6: Marshall, Bob\ maps\ Brooks Range\ WWII\ Wiseman\ aerial mapping\ 1931\ Johnson, Ernie\ Koyukuk\ Devil Mountain\ 'sense of discovering'|

Section 7: 1987\ attitude about experimental approaches to the park\ laws, codes\ pioneering atmosphere\ regional offices\ historic districts\ historic resources study in Denali\ State of Alaska \ Denali Highway\ Paxson-Cantwell\ McKinley Park headquarters\ ARC\ Core of Engineers\ Alaska Railroad\ mining districts|

Section 8: National Park Service\ value of history\ Parks personnel\ Denali Highway conflict\ park status\ market hunters|

Section 9: Brown, Randy\ camp gopher\ worked in Alaska\ floated the Charley\ Potts, Mike\ Ulvi, Dana\ trappers\ river people\ simple life\ married\ life changes\ Eagle\ Fairbanks\ BLM\ Fish and Game\ subsistence|

Section 10: National Park Service\ families\ people tiring of the lifestyle\ subsistence knowlege\ trapping\ hunting\ fishing\ 'art form' of lifestyle\ cabin building\ intelligence\ average length of time for river people|

Section 11: Park Service - work\ rewards\ felt well suited to the work\ Park Service - changes\ appeal of Alaska parklands\ rangers\ specialization\ management styles\ value system\ politics|

Section 12: writing\ desire for Park Service reform\ 'national dark age'\ chose to be near Glacier Bay\ hopes for reform in the National Park Service|