Previous photo pair1906 - 2006: Alpine Outer Range and Kantishna Hills near Teklanika38/60Next photo pair
forest photo pair
Photo Credits: Charles Sheldon, "The Wilderness of Denali" (1906), Evan Olson (2006)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Changing treelines
Changing treelinesAnimation is available
Charles Sheldon, an eastern business man who came to Denali as a hunter-naturalist photographed this view looking up what is now known as Calico Creek from the slopes of Cathedral Mountain on his first visit to the area in 1906. He came to study and collect specimens of dall sheep and other wildlife in the area and left with an idea to preserve it for future generations. 100 years later, the view and the animals who live in the Denali area are much the same thanks to his foresight and influence on many other wilderness advocates. But look closer...Notice that there seems to be much more vegetation growing on the gravel bar of the Teklanika river, in the foreground. Notice also the peninsula of land featured in the photo center. Spruce trees here have increased their coverage, both in area, and in density. The forest has filled in quite dramatically over the intervening 100 years. Do you think that has had an influence on wildlife movements? Do you think Sheldon could have imagined this change?