Study Site

Established in 1917, Denali National Park and Preserve lies in the Alaska Range of Interior Alaska. It a wild area where the United States highest peak, Denali (20,310 ft.), wild animals, and over 6 million acres of land draw in 600,000 people annually. Visitors can often spot moose, caribou, Grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and Gray wolves while exploring the taiga forest, glaciers, and tundra. Activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife watching are common during the summer while dog-sledding and cross country skiing are popular during the winter. Visitors often discover Denali on the 92 mile ‘park road’, the only road within the park.
DENA is a park has very few established trails so visitors are able to explore the sprawling beauty the environment has to offer.
The park offers many recreational uses, however much of the land is also used to support local communities by allowing hunting and gathering natural resources, which was established by The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980. ANILCA allowed for much of the original land deemed a National Park to be designated wilderness. Without this act, the land in Denali and its surrounding areas would be susceptible to degradation and community lifestyle would be at risk. The local communities rely on Denali as a source of livelihood. The Denali Borough has 1,893 residents as of the 2000 U.S. census. These residents have values that are shaped by Denali and by understanding their vales, appropriate measures can be taken in order to create a balance between protecting the fragile ecosystem that exists and meeting the needs of the community.