Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
STATEMENT OF HERBERT FROST, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCE STEWARDSHIP AND SCIENCE, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, CONCERNING S. 2273, TO DESIGNATE THE TALKEETNA RANGER STATION IN TALKEETNA, ALASKA AS THE WALTER HARPER TALKEETNA RANGER STATION.
JUNE 27, 2012
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 2273, which would designate the Talkeetna Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.
As the 100th anniversary of the 1913 summit climb of Walter Harper approaches, the National Park Service has no objection to S. 2273, which would name the Denali National Park and Preserve's South District Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.
Mr. Harper grew up in Alaska, a child of Arthur Harper, a Scottish trader and prospector, and Jennie Harper, an Athabascan Indian from the Koyukuk region. As a young man, he served as an interpreter and guide for the far-flung ministry of Hudson Stuck, an Episcopal archdeacon.
He joined Stuck on an arduous trip in 1913 to reach the summit of North America's highest peak. For nearly three months, the group moved slowly south from Fairbanks and into the high mountains of the Alaska Range. On June 7, 1913, Walter Harper, 21, became the first man to set foot on the summit of Denali, the Athabascan name for the peak, meaning the High One.The archdeacon's journal described their approach: "With keen excitement we pushed on. Walter, who had been in the lead all day, was the first to scramble up; a Native Alaskan, he is the first human being to set foot upon the top of Alaska's greatest mountain, and he had well earned the honor."
Since 1913, thousands of climbers have aimed for the summit. Unlike Mr. Harper, today the vast majority begin their expeditions with an airplane ride out of Talkeetna on the south side of the Alaska Range. The National Park Service ranger station there serves as an orientation center for climbers and other visitors to the Denali region. The community is proud of its varied history as a railroad town, a jumping off point for miners, and in the past several decades as the take-off point for climbing expeditions.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony, and I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members may have.