Oh yes he would! Teddy Roosevelt would be horribly ashamed of the current Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve administration today.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the 26th President of the United States of America. After he became President in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt used his authority to protect wildlife and public lands by creating the U.S. Forest Service and establishing Federal Bird Reservations, National Game Preserves, National Forests, National Parks and enabling the 1906 American Antiquities Act, which he used to proclaim 18 National Monuments. During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt protected approximately 230,000,000 acres of public land.
Theodore Roosevelt is considered by many to have been our country’s “Conservationist President.”
“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Here is the situation the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve administration has created and inflicted upon both you as a visitor and we as residents through their short-sighted and incredibly narrow minded decisions:
Shame #1: Even after multiple complaints, photographs and witness statements, the Wrangell St. Elias National Park Rangers have done nothing about the over use and misuse of 4-wheelers (ATV) and the blatant, overwhelming and heart-wrenching destruction of century old horse trails as well as pure untouched wilderness.
Shame #2: Recently (again) riding through this beautiful and almost indescribable National Park, riding down a historic trail as we wound our way through the wilderness as we rode into the open in a break in the timber, we all suddenly pulled up our horses and were silent. The wanton destruction was sickening. A huge swath of trees had been cut down during the winter (it was obvious as the stumps of the trees were between two and three feet in height), limbed where they fell and drug away. It was horrible.
“it is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Permits for in-holders (residents) in the National Park to harvest house logs are given very carefully ~ I had believed. These trees were cut from the established, historic trail. It was disgusting and it was horrifying. Our guest, from Switzerland, whispered to me, “It certainly doesn’t look like a National Park.”
Ready for this one?
Shame #3: Did you know that we can have a film crew film your adventure if you want to hunt and kill a critter but you are not allowed to have a photo adventure filmed here? (Wouldn’t want you to see first hand what the current Wrangell St. Elias administration is allowing to happen.)
Pioneer Outfitters are horse outfitters. We are also Big Game Hunting Guides and we also use the horses and those hunts. Pioneer Outfitters has been hunting since 1924 on horseback. Pioneer Outfitters has hosted every major Hunting magazine writer and many of the TV Hunting celebrities in Chisana over the years. Three full-length hunting movies have included Pioneer Outfitters.
We are obviously not against hunting. We are hunters, trappers and fishers of the wilderness and great land that is Alaska. We also consider ourselves the caretakers of the land we live and make our living from.
What this says to us is that it is ok for you to come and have your adventure filmed if you are going to pay for a Big Game Hunt (tens of thousands of dollars worth, mind you, which the National Park takes a percentage of), but you are not going to be permitted to experience Alaska unless you can pay the big bucks.
Now, that may sound strange coming from the one who is selling the trips, but it isn’t strange at all if you think of the “Why”.
The “Why” I speak of is why we do what we do. We are Pioneer Outfitters to provide others a safe and comfortable way to experience this magnificent wilderness. To share this gift of nature and spirit with others is the ultimate experience for any of us. A Professional Guide’s passion is to share the experience of discovering the dreams that brought a guest to this Alaskan wilderness.
The website was created to allow people to find and get to know who and what we truly are and what, exactly, that we stand for. Alaska Chick’s Blog was created to allow you an even more intimate insight into our thoughts, our dreams and our lives. All of this was created to give you a window into our lives.
It was also created for those people, all over the world, who may never be able to come to Alaska, may never be able to experience Chisana and all of it’s gifts in person. THAT is why I share so many of our photographs and attempt to put to words the incredible beauty and overwhelming presence that is Chisana.
Why can we not share a film of it with you? Because the National Park Service may not receive a monetary benefit from it? That is shameful. This wondrous and perfectly wild place should be for EVERYONE to experience, HOWEVER they can.
These are the reasons that I am beyond any doubt that Teddy Roosevelt would be ashamed. Walk your Talk, NPS; remember your “Why” and your purpose. It matters to us all.