In Coming into the Country, John McPhee devoted a chapter to John Kauffman and other National Park Service staffers who were planning the proposed Gates of the Arctic National Park. While noting the dedication of Kauffman and his colleagues, McPhee also recorded their sense of anxiety. After all, there was no assurance that Gates of the Arctic, or any other park, refuge, or national forest, would actually materialize. Referring to Section 17d(2) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), he wrote, “All the paragraph provided, however, was that eighty million acres could be temporarily set aside and studied. There was no guarantee of preservation to follow.”1 By 1976 Kauffman had good reason to worry. ...

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