Administrative History
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Administrative histories are different than most other kinds of history. They require emphasis on issues that more broad- based projects rarely address. Yet a good administrative history also requires knowledge and understanding of the context surrounding the events at any particular park area. In the case of Bandelier National Monument, this meant a knowledge of the Park Service and its history and American archeology and its evolution as well as a documentary search for the specific details of the story of Bandelier.

In recent years, scholarship about the National Park Service, its leaders, and its policies has proliferated. Alfred Runte, National Parks: The American Experience, 2nd ed.(Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1987), remains the top book in the field. This synthesis offers the most comprehensive look at the evolution of American attitudes about the national park system. Runte is less complete when looking at the Park Service as an agency. John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), offers a look at the legislative history of the park system. Ise's book is marred by inconsistency both in the text and the footnotes, and his interpretation often seems dated. Ronald Foresta America's National Parks and Their Keepers (Washington D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1984), is an ambitious book that focuses on Park Service policy during the last two decades. Although valuable in certain areas, the book does not live up to its title. It is an account of the parks and their policy makers, not their keepers, and the idiosyncratic perspective of the author often interferes with the presentation of the material. Foresta is not a historian, and his work reflects that fact. Hal Rothman "Protected By a Gold Fence With Diamond Tips": A Cultural History of the American National Monuments (Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 1985), covers the evolution of monument category. The Park Service has also produced general studies of its history. Harlan D. Unrau and G. Frank Williss, Administrative History: Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s (Denver: Denver Service Center, 1983), is a helpful account of the growth of the system during the Great Depression. John C. Paige, The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Park Service, 1933-1942: An Administrative History (National Park Service, 1985), looks closely at the impact of the CCC on the system.

Biographies of leading Park Service figures provide another means to locate events at a specific park in their milieu. Donald C. Swain, Wilderness Defender: Horace M. Albright and Conservation is an excellent if laudatory look at the second director of the Park Service. Swain's "Harold Ickes, Horace Albright, and the Hundred Days: A Study in Conservation Administration," Pacific Historical Review, 34 (November 1965), 455-465 is an outstanding analysis of Albright's maneuvering during the early days of the Roosevelt administration. Horace M. Albright as told to Robert Cahn, The Birth of the National Park Service: The Founding Years, 1913-1933 (Salt Lake City: Howe Brothers, 1985), tells the story of the early years of the Park Service in Albright's own words. An interesting and informative account, this study suffers from the problems that plague oral histories. A check of documentary sources reveals that Albright's memory is often selective, and in many cases, he engages in myth-making and self-promotion. Robert Shankland, Steve Mather of the National Parks (New York: Knoph, 1951), tells the story of the early years of the agency and the dynamic leader who brought the parks to the attention of the American public in an engaging fashion. Unfortunately, the Shankland book lacks footnotes.

The history of American archeology is another important component of the story of Bandelier National Monument. The best overall study of the topic is Gordon R. Willey and Jeremy A. Sabloff, A History of American Archeology (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974). Another recent book that includes historical information about southwestern archeology and the ruins of the Pajarito Plateau is Robert H. Lister and Florence C. Lister, Those Who Came Before (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1983). Together these two books create a context for the excavations on the Pajarito Plateau.

Despite his importance, Edgar L. Hewett, the leading archeologist of the first two decades of the twentieth century, remains largely unstudied. Hewett's own writings, particularly The Pajarito Plateau and Its Ancient People (Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1938), give considerable insight into this volatile and influential figure. One pseudo- biography, Beatrice Chauvenet, Hewett and Friends: A Biography of Santa Fe's Vibrant Era (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1983) falls far short of the mark. Derived strictly from Hewett's papers and almost completely devoid of any context or interpretation, it does not do justice to the complexity of Hewett, his time, or the early years of southwestern archeology. Curtis M. Hinsley Jr., "Edgar Lee Hewett and the School of American Research in Santa Fe, 1906-1912," in David J. Meltzer, Don D. Fowler, and Jeremy A. Sabloff eds., American Archaeology Past and Future (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986), does a much better job, but his article looks at only a small story within a much larger picture. Hewett's influence on southwestern archeology and tourism was immense; the scholarly record is far from complete.

The administration of Bandelier itself has not been the subject of a great deal of scholarship. Two articles pertaining to the Pajarito Plateau have recently appeared. Hal Rothman, "Conflict on the Pajarito Plateau: Frank Pinkley, the Forest Service, and the Bandelier Controversy," Journal of Forest History, 29 (April 1985), covers the issues presented in chapter two of this manuscript. Thomas L. Altherr, "The Pajarito of Cliff Dwellers National Park Proposal, 1900-1920," New Mexico Historical Review, 60 (July 1985), is an incomplete and inconsistent look at the early park efforts covered here in the initial chapter.

The conflict between the Park and Forest Services has been the subject of an increasing amount of scholarship. Most authors have studied the conflicts from one side or the other, and as a result, their premises embody bias that the other side finds untenable. In recent years, a number of efforts to synthesize the material on this issue in an objective form have occurred. Ben Twight, Organizational Values and Political Power: The Forest Service Versus the Olympic National Park (University Park, PA.: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983), is an interesting start in this direction. Rather than follow the traditional stand of the USFS, that the NPS aggressively encroached on its domain, Twight posits that the values of the USFS and the kind of people attracted to a career in forestry gave the Forest Service a point of view that it found difficult to defend when faced with NPS arguments. Although Twight relies too heavily on social science theory to make his point and does not really look at the actions of the NPS, his work is a start. Another study that builds off Twight's work is Hal Rothman, "Shaping the Nature of a Controversy: The Park Service, The Forest Service, and the Cedar Breaks National Monument," Utah Historical Quarterly, 55 (Summer 1987). This piece looks at the interplay of factors that led to the establishment of the Cedar Breaks National Monument from a tract of the Dixie National Forest. Again, this is an area with plenty of room for future scholarship.

Administrative histories necessarily rely on primary source documents and reports, and this example is no exception. Record Group 79 of the National Archives, the Records of the National Park Service, contain a wealth of information on all facets of the administration of Bandelier National Monument. The information is divided among the proposed national park files, file O-32, and the Bandelier National Monument files. The collection of material in the National Archives ends in approximately 1949. The National Archives material is listed under the old Park Service filing system. The Denver Federal Records Center, which contains records that the park and the regional office have sent there for storage, follows the modern system of classification. The material from the Denver Center is less valuable than that from other places; it is in Denver because earlier park officials perceived it to be unimportant. The Southwest Regional Office library in Santa Fe has some important documents pertaining to Bandelier. These consist of copies of reports commissioned by the Park Service on subjects such as feral burros, soil erosion, and other topics. The library at Bandelier contains much valuable information, including the paperwork pertaining to the exchange of lands with the Atomic Energy Commission that gave up most of the Otowi section of the monument. In addition, other reports that cover a variety of topics are also housed in the park library. These include material for interpretation, natural and cultural resource management, and other similar topics. The superintendent's active files, referred to in the notes as "park files," provide a wealth of information on current topics. Without the excellent record-keeping at the monument, chapter seven of this manuscript could not have been written.

A number of studies produced by the Park Service provided particularly valuable information. Foremost were Laura Soulliere Harrison and Randy Copeland, "Historic Structures Report: CCC Buildings, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico," draft manuscript at National Park Service's Denver Service Center and Robert P. Powers, "Draft Archeological Research Design for a Sample Inventory of Bandelier National Monument," draft manuscript in Division of Anthropology, Southwest Regional Office, National Park Service, Santa Fe. Both these documents are detailed reports by experts that provide the administrative historian with an inside picture of the nature of specific activities at the park.

Finally, oral history has contributed greatly to this study. Interviews with Richard Boyd, Paul and Frances Judge, Homer Pickens, and Dr. Milford R. Fletcher offered important perspectives to that augmented documentary research. In addition, day-to-day conversations with Superintendent John D. Hunter, Chief Ranger Kevin McKibbin, Resource Manager John D. Lissoway, and other members of the staff at Bandelier contributed greatly. These people were participants in many of the activities covered in this manuscript; including their perspective is an essential part of authoring an administrative history.

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006