American Indians •  American West •  Environment and History

$35.00 paperback

Add to Cart

Inhabited Wilderness: Indians, Eskimos, and National Parks in Alaska

Theodore Catton

This volume, the first in the New American West Series edited by Elliott West, explores Alaska's vast national-park system and the evolution of wilderness concepts in the twentieth century. After World War II, Alaska's traditional Eskimos, Indians, and whites still trapped, hunted, and fished in the forests. Their presence challenged the uninhabited national parks and forced a complex debate over "inhabited wilderness." Focusing on three principal national parks--Glacier Bay, Denali, and Gates of the Arctic--the author explores the idea of "inhabited wilderness," which culminated in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. Among other units, the legislation set aside ten national parks, nine of which allow Alaska natives, whites included, "customary and traditional" subsistence use.


"Written with clarity and flair, this first-rate work . . . contains insightful analysis throughout, and it represents a significant contribution to the literature on the national parks. Those interested in wilderness, the native rights movement, the place of humans in nature, or hunting issues will also find it of considerable value."


Pacific Northwest Quarterly

"The author skillfully . . . untangles the knotty political and intellectual strands of recent Huna history. . . . atton successfully adds habitation to preservation and visitation as a conflicting goal of the National Park Service. The book belongs in all libraries claiming to represent environmental history in their collections."


The Journal of American History

6 x 9 in. 312 pages 24 halftones, 2 maps