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Neil C. Johannsen collection

Guide to the Neil C. Johannsen Alaska State Parks history collection

Collection number: HMC-1046.
Creator: Johannsen, Neil C.
Title: Neil C. Johannsen Alaska State Parks history collection.
Dates: 1970-1995.
Volume of collection: 8 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: This collection primarily contains materials relating to the development of the Alaska state park system.

Biographical note:
Neil C. Johannsen received a bachelor’s degree in park management from the California State University at Sacramento in 1969, and a master of science degree in forestry and park management from the University of Washington in 1975. His professional positions have included: California State Park Ranger, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma, California (1968-69); Interpretive Planner, Olympic National Forest, U.S. Forest Service, Olympia, WA. (1969-71); Naturalist, Portage Glacier, Chugach National Forest, U.S. Forest Service (Summer, 1971); Superintendent, Chugach State Park, Division of Parks, Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Anchorage (1971-72); Park Planner, Division of Parks, DNR, Anchorage (1972-1975); Chief of Planning, Division of Parks, DNR, Anchorage (1975-1979); Deputy Director, later Deputy Director/Chief of Operations, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento, CA (1979-1983); Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, DNR, Anchorage (1983-1995); Parks and Tourism Consultant to Kamchatka, Russia, Neil C. Johannsen & Associates, Parks and Tourism Consulting, Christchurch, New Zealand and Anchorage, Alaska (1995-1997). Mr. Johannsen also served on the Wood-Tikchick State Park Advisory Board (1978, 1984-1986); the California Heritage Preservation Commission (1981-1982); Board of Directors, National Association of State Park Directors (1986-1993); Board of Directors, National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers (1986-1993); Denali Task Force (1993-1994); Board of Directors, National Parks Conservation Association (1989-1995); Alaska Tourism Coordinating Council (1993-1994), and on other boards and commissions.

Collection description:
This Neil C. Johannsen Collection preserves much of the first 25 years of history of the Alaska State Park System. Included are all of Mr. Johannsen’s professional letters, memoranda and hand-written notes, bound in chronological order, for the period 1979-1995. These correspondence files, and other materials detail the establishment of nearly 50 state parks, marine parks, recreation areas and historical sites established during the nearly 13 years Mr. Johannsen was director of the State Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Also in the collection are all copies of The Greensheet, an Alaska State Parks monthly newsletter for the period 1983-1995. Hundreds of news clippings on state park topics cover the period 1983-1995. The collection includes early park brochures (early to mid-1970’s through 1995), park master plans, including the earliest strategic plan for establishing the Alaska State Park System (1966), and the first comprehensive plan for the state’s park system (1970), as well as the first Chugach State Park Master Plan, and plans for establishing the State Marine Park System. In the Johannsen collection are many rarities and oddities: a small rock pried from the hull of the Exxon Valdez after it was towed to Long Beach, CA for repairs, a nylon bottle of Exxon crude oil dipped from Prince William Sound during the height of the 1989 oil spill, pens used by governors to sign state park bills into law, invitations to ceremonies to dedicate new park units and developments,  #1 park fee decals for camping, day use, boat launches, photographs of park activities and events. Early video taken in state parks (circa 1980’s) was converted to DVD format and is part of the collection, as are two early speeches on state parks by Mr. Johannsen (a 1982 talk to the National Association of Landscape Architects national convention in Honolulu, and a 1989 speech to the annual convention of the Alaska Resource Development Council) in CD format.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged in series by record type.

Rights note: Copyright ownership of collection materials may remain with the creators of the items.

Preferred citation: Neil C. Johannsen Alaska state parks history collection, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: This collection was provided to the Archives in 2008.

Processing information: This collection was described by Neil Johannsen and Arlene Schmuland in 2009.

Container list:

Box Series Dates
1-3 Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Director’s reading files 1983-1995
3 California State Parks reading files and memorabilia 1979-1982
4-6 Personal records and memorabilia 1971-2005
7 Moving image materials 1983-1994
7 The greensheet (Alaska parks employee newsletter) 1982-1992
8 (oversize) State park newspaper clippings scrapbook 1983-1988
8 (oversize) Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Director’s appointment calendars 1983-1995

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