ReWilding Experience Fall 2017
Denali National Park, AK
The term Denali is the name for the highest mountain peak in the United States. It is believed that Denali is a Koyukon word that means “high”, “tall” or even “great one.”
Denali National Park encompasses the soul, it is an unforgettable landscape that stretches the psyche’s imagination.
There are two kinds of wilderness inside the National Park system. The original two million acres of Denali are designated wilderness.Designated wilderness has the highest level of protection offered by the Federal Government. Thus almost 6 million acres of Denali National Park and Preserve are protected as wilderness.
The Wilderness Act of 1964 highlights five qualities of wilderness character, described below. As part of a national effort to monitor wilderness character, park staff created a Wilderness Character Narrative as a qualitative, affirming, and holistic description of what is unique and special about Denali’s wilderness. The narrative captures qualities that are essential to the park, but difficult to measure, and serves as a guide for park staff in protecting Denali’s wilderness character.
Denali’s abundant and diverse wildlife are just as famous as its tallest mountain, Denali, which towers above the landscape at 20,310’ tall. In truth, although the park’s namesake is a mountain, Denali was the first national park created to protect wildlife. Now, this park is home to 39 species of mammals, 169 species of birds, and 1 lonely species of amphibian.
“The Denali Wilderness is a land of paradox. It is inviting and it is terrifying; accessible and remote. It is an essentially undeveloped wilderness with a road corridor through the middle that brings millions of people to its edge. It is untrammeled, yet managed. Some of the land within its boundaries is well known and studied, but much of it is full of mystery. It is a natural and intact ecosystem celebrated by scientists, writers, hunters, adventurers and artists alike.