Quantcast

Slideshow: Celebrating Denali National Park's 97th Birthday

Today marks Alaska’s Denali National Park—originally called Mount McKinley National Park by Congress—97th birthday. The wildlife and rugged terrain that first made it a cause celebré for the conservation movement remain as striking as ever.

[slideshow_deploy id='351625']

Modern-day Denali National Park and Preserve draws around 400,000 visitors per year, and it isn’t hard to see why. Roaming grizzlies, alpine tundra and the majestic mountain that inspired its name all contribute to its more than century-old status as a national treasure.

American newspapers first published descriptions of “Mount McKinley,” named for the twenty-fifth president, nearly 120 years ago. That peak had already enjoyed centuries of prominence in indigenous lore as “Denali,” among other names, but North America’s tallest mountain and its environs were largely a mystery amid the forbidding terrain of Alaska, whose purchase by the federal government was popularly known as Seward’s Folly” until gold was discovered in the Yukon just before the turn of the century.

Charles Sheldon, a sportsman and naturalist, first began advocating the designation of the Denali region as a national park to protect its diverse wildlife, specifically Dall sheep. Sheldon worked with the Boone and Crockett Club to foster support for the idea, a campaign that finally resulted in a national park spanning almost 1.6 million acres in 1917. The park was expanded and renamed the Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980, and it now covers 6 million acres.

As these photos make clear, Denali National Park is still a special place—one of the world’s last great wild frontiers.

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

Read More
Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front 2nd L) and officials inspect a container containing plastic waste shipment on Jan. 20, 2020 before sending back to the countries of origin. AFP via Getty Images

The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Read More
Sponsored
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More

Warning: The video above may be upsetting to viewers.

An amusement park in China came under fire on social media this weekend for forcing a pig off a 230 foot-high bungee tower.

Read More
Participants at the tree-planting event in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19. Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy / Mongabay

By Malavika Vyawahare, Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy

Madagascar has embarked on its most ambitious tree-planting drive yet, aiming to plant 60 million trees in the coming months. The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar's lost forests.

Read More