National Geographic : 1963 Jun
been filled to its 50-visitor capacity, we would still have been a small island of people surrounded by the vast solitude of Katmai. Here was the greatest national park unit of all, and I doubt if there were at that moment 100 human beings in all its length and breadth. President Wilson was thinking of Katmai's po tential as a scenic wonderland when he proclaimed it a national monument in 1918. It was enlarged in 1931 and again in 1942 to protect the moose, bear, red fox, mink, Canada lynx, and other land animals outside the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, and the seals, sea lions, and other marine life along the coast of Shelikof Strait. In addition to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Monument now encom passes a mountain and lake country of unsurpassed beauty and has more than 125 miles of ocean bays, 824 Steller Sea Lions Cover an Islet in Shelikof Strait off Katmai When the photo plane's roar became audible, the island changed color as brown sea lions plunged into the sea and exposed the rock beneath. Other seals-dots in the water at far right -also ducked. Katmai National Monument was enlarged in 1942 to include a coastal wonderland of fiords and peaks. Alarmed sea lions hit the water to escape the airplane. The Steller weighs up to 2,200 pounds and spans 10 feet from nose to tail.