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park road photo pair
Photo Credits: Denali NP&P Museum Coll. 39-36 (1962), Tamás Szerényi (2010)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Changing treelines
Changing treelines
This photo pair shows a section of the park road near Teklanika. Do you know of roads in your area that have not changed much in the past 50 years? Most roads have been upgraded or widened to accommodate more traffic. The Denali park road however, has changed in other ways. It was originally open to all vehicle traffic, but with the completion of the George Parks Highway connecting Anchorage and Fairbanks in 1971, there was a potential for greatly increased traffic on the park road. So, in 1972 the first shuttle bus and vehicle permitting system began, and owing to this restriction, the character of the park road itself has remained much the same as it was over 50 years ago. One change visible in this photo pair is the increase in shrubs around the edges of the road. This could be partly attributed to recovery from road building itself, but also may be indicative of the expansion of shrubs into areas underlain by permafrost that previously did not support them.