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Roger Allin, Part 1

Roger Allin was interviewed by William Schneider on July 7, 1993 at his house in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ted Swem was present and had suggested the interview, because of the important role Roger played in helping the National Park Service identify management areas. Ted participates in the interview, but the focus is on Roger telling about his experiences in Alaska and how his job as a fisheries biologist gave him the chance to explore the natural areas. Because of his knowledge and because he enjoyed showing people these areas, he was often called upon to take VIP's to different parts of Alaska. At the time of this interview, Roger had been away from Alaska for many years, but in this interview you can tell he looks back at his time there with a great deal of pleasure. He speaks freely and publicly expresses his opinions.

Corrections: The comments made in this intervew about territorial control over game and fish matters pertained specifically to the Territorial Department of Fish and Game. There was a Territorial Game Commission, composed of six "old timers" who passed on and effectuated the recommendations of the Fish and Wildlife Service. Upon later reflection, Roger Allin does not believe George Collins accompanied Dick Leonard, Bob Luntey, and himself on the McCarthy trips as stated in the tape.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-36

Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Jul 7, 1993
Narrator(s): Roger Allin
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Ted Swem, Sr.
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

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


1) His personal background

2) Early fisheries work and coming to Alaska

3) Showing VIP's the Alaskan bush

4) The relationship between the National Park Service and territorial government

5) Relationship between various agencies and Alaska statehood

6) Federal involvement in Alaska prior to statehood

7) Roger Allin's involvement in Alaska planning for the Fish and Wildlife Service

8) Areas that impressed Roger Allin, and areas that he talked to National Park Service people about

9) The search for Clarence Rhodes

10) Enjoying the Alaskan wilderness

11) Questions relating to politics involved in selecting areas

12) Arrigetch Peaks and the wildlife experience

13) Gates of the Arctic and the wildlife experience

14) Clarence Rhodes

15) The Wrangells area and why Roger Allin supported it

16) His fish research

17) The Wrangells area ecology

18) His trip into the Wrangells area in the late 1950's

19) His early relations with George Collins

20) His various biological research efforts

21) Roger's work spotlighting areas of interest for the National Park Service

22) Lake Clark trips

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.


1: father -- professor of political science\ grandfather -- professor of entomology\ interests -- politics and wild things\ degree -- wildlife management\ Minneapolis\ Lake (Minnetonka)\ Fraser, Donald M.\ St. Croix River\ University of Minnesota\ graduate work -- fisheries management\ Illinois -- river basin studies

2: Fish and Wildlife Service\ biologist -- fresh water fishery\ transportation\ fish histories

3: pilot -- flown entire territory\ Swem, Ted\ National Park Service\ fisheries\ Washington D.C.\ trips to the bush

4: arrival in Alaska -- 1951\ Alaska -- territory\ statehood -- 1959\ National Park Service -- control\ Fish and Wildlife -- regulation enforcement\ fishery -- research and publicity\ territorial government -- limited input\ Fish and Wildlife -- management\ statehood movement\ permit system\ Washington D.C.

5: Alaska -- interest in\ Washington D.C. office\ conservation groups\ statehood

6: Fish and Wildlife Service\ National Park Service -- 4 units in Alaska\ Parks and Recreation\ Mt. McKinley\ Sitka -- monument park\ Katmai\ Glacier Bay\ National Park Service -- Washington office\ public recreation resources of Alaska\ Collins, George\ New Mexico\ National Park Service -- western office\ Alaska plan\ surveys -- nation wide

7: Alaska -- potentials\ travel -- Alaska\ National Park Service -- personnel\ resource planning\ National Park values\ Swem, Ted\ preservation\ public lands -- Lower 48\ National Park Service -- planning for\ values -- scientific, historical, and recreation\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ Wood-Tikchik\ Bureau of Land Management\ area size\ acreage requirements\ Engle, Congressman Claire -- CA

8: Wood-Tikchik area\ airplane\ shack\ Wind River\ fishing\ population density\ public access sites\ Anchorage\ Wasilla\ Walrus Islands\ Aniakchak crater\ crater -- landing\ Arrigetch Peaks -- Brooks Range

9: Arrigetch Peaks\ Rhodes, Clarence -- search for\ Norton Sound\ Brooks Range Drainage\ Northwest Territories, Canada

10: flying -- cutting edge\ wilderness experience

11: Wood-Tikchik country\ 1962\ Lake Clark\ Round Island\ Katmai\ Lake George\ Brooks Range\ Mt. McKinley National Park\ Parks For America\ Wrangells\ Walker Lake\ Gates of the Arctic\ memo -- Roger Allin\ Collins, George\ Thompson, Ben\ National Significance Areas\ Collins, George -- in favor of\ regional office\ Alaska public land potential\ report -- 2 areas\ Washington D.C.

12: wilderness\ flying\ wilderness experience -- description

13: national park\ Gates of the Arctic -- use\ access -- fly in\ limit people\ wilderness area\ radios\ Bettles

14: Rhodes, Clarence\ airplane\ Rhodes, Clarence -- story\ Fairbanks -- story

15: Skagway\ McCarthy area\ Mt. St. Elias\ Wrangell-St. Elias\ biological elements\ McCarthy -- historic interest\ McCarthy railroad\ Salt Chuck\ Cordova\ Copper River\ flat land\ delta ecology\ Skagway

16: fish resource -- description\ fish -- testing of\ fish -- growth rates\ Fish and Wildlife Service

17: Salt Chuck\ marine ecology\ birds\ glacier and clear water streams\ glaciers\ Wrangells -- comprehensive area\ McCarthy\ Leonard, Dick\ Collins, George

18: Chitina\ automobiles\ transportation\ McCarthy road -- story

19: Collins, George\ Leonard, Dick\ California

20: transportation -- Wrangells\ McCarthy -- historical aspects\ game counts -- aerial\ wolf -- hunting\ Fish and Wildlife Service\ bear\ Kodiak\ Cordova flats\ water fowl

21: Swem, Ted\ Gates\ Lake Clark\ Wood-Tikchik\ National Park Service -- interests in\ Wrangells\ Worth, Connie\ Canada -- international park\ Kluane\ Aniakchak crater area\ volcanism -- theme study\ western office -- list\ Veniaminof Mountain

22: Lake Clark Pass\ Anchorage\ Bristol Bay\ glaciers\ lakes\ fisheries\ emergency cabin -- Twin Lakes\ Lake Clark\ Dillingham\ Walrus Island\ Round Island\ Katmai\ Katmai -- falls\ withdrawal program\ Wood-Tikchik