Administrative History
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The initial National Park Service resource management priorities in Crater Lake National Park were concerned with the preservation of "natural curiosities" and wildlife, the supply and regulation of fishing in the lake, and prevention of forest fires. Among the regulations adopted for the park on May 1, 1917, were rules to prevent fires and hunting, govern fishing, and preserve the national features of the area. These rules stated:

1. Preservation of natural curiosities. -- The destruction, injury, or defacement in any way of the public property or the trees, vegetation, rocks, minerals, animal and bird or other life, or other natural conditions and curiosities in the park is prohibited.

2. Camping. -- No camp will be made along roads except at designated localities. Blankets, clothing, hammocks, or any other article liable to frighten teams must not be hung near the road.

Many successive parties camp on the same sites during the season, and camp grounds must be thoroughly cleaned before they are abandoned. Tin cans, bottles, cast-off clothing, and all other debris must be placed in garbage cans or pits provided for the purpose. When camps are made in unfrequented localities where pits or garbage cans may not be provided, all refuse must be burned or hidden where it will not be offensive to the eye.

Campers may use dead or fallen timber only for fuel.

3. Fires. -- Fires constitute one of the greatest perils to the park; they must not be kindled near trees, dead wood, moss, dry leaves, forest mold, or other vegetable refuse, but in some open space on rocks or earth. Should camp be made in a locality where no such open space exists nor is provided, dead wood, moss, dry leaves, etc., must be scraped away to the rock or earth over an area considerably larger than required for the fire.

When fires are no longer necessary, they must be completely extinguished and all embers and bed smothered with earth or water so that there remains no possibility or reignition.

Especial care must be taken that no lighted match, cigar, or cigarette is dropped in any grass, twigs, leaves, or tree mold.

4. Hunting. -- The park is a sanctuary for wild life of every sort, and no one should frighten, hunt or kill, wound or capture any bird or wild animals in the park, except dangerous animals when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying life or inflicting injury.

The outfits, including guns, traps, teams, horses, or means of transportation used by persons engaged in hunting, killing, trapping, ensnaring, or capturing such birds or wild animals, or in possession of game killed on the park lands under other circumstances than prescribed above, must be taken up by the supervisor and held subject to the order of the Secretary of the Interior, except in cases where it is shown by satisfactory evidence that the outfit is not the property of the person or persons violating this regulation and the actual owner was not a party to such violation. Firearms will be permitted in the park only on written permission of the supervisor. Visitors entering or traveling through the park to places beyond should, at entrance, report and surrender all firearms, traps, nets, seines, or explosives in their possession to the first park officer, and, in proper cases, may obtain his written leave to carry them through the park sealed.

5. Fishing. -- Fishing is permitted with hook and line only, and never for profit or merchandise. Fishing in particular water may be suspended; or the number of fish that may be taken by one person in any one day, from the various streams or lakes, may be regulated by the supervisor. All fish hooked less than 8 inches long shall be carefully handled with moist hands and returned at once to the water, if not seriously injured. Fish retained should be killed. Five fish shall constitute the limit for a day's catch from the lake, and 20 from other waters of the park. [1]

Superintendent Sparrow committed the efforts of the park staff to enforcement of these regulations. In his annual report for 1917 Sparrow discussed park resource management highlights for the year. He observed that wild animals were becoming more numerous in the park. He stated further:

The park abounds in black and brown bear, black-tailed deer, cougar, lynx, timber wolves, coyotes, pine marten, fisher, several varieties of squirrels, ringtail grouse, the common pheasant, Clark crow, and numerous varieties of birds common to the country at large.

There are no fish in any of the waters of the park except the lake itself and Anna Creek, below the falls. Crater Lake is abundantly supplied with a fine quality of rainbow trout. . . . The fish are large and the flesh is firm. A few have been taken 25 to 28 inches long, weighing from 6 to 7 pounds.

One small forest fire occurred in the park this season, but it was brought under control before any damage was done. There were many fires outside and at some distance from the park, particularly to the southwest. At times the view of the lake was entirely obliterated by the dense clouds of smoke that rolled in from these fires, but an east wind for a few hours always cleared the atmosphere.

Sparrow observed "that a very few wild flowers" had been observed in the park. There had been no wild flowers in the park since 1902, "the sheep that ranged over this region before the creation of the park having utterly destroyed the wild-flower growth." [2]

The commitment to restore the flora of the park brought park management into conflict with regional wool growers. In May 1917 area sheepherders sought a permit to graze 7,000 head of sheep in the park. The request was denied promptly by the Park Service. In responding to the sheepherders, Acting NPS Director Horace M. Albright stated:

In reply, I would advise you that we are considering plans for opening Crater Lake Park to the grazing of cattle and horses, and will undoubtedly be prepared to issue permits covering the privilege of grazing these animals within a short time.We can not, however, under any circumstances, act favorably upon applications for the grazing of sheep in the park. Sheep are not only very obnoxious to tourists, but they absolutely destroy wild flowers and shrubs which we are particularly anxious to preserve in the parks. [3]

Later that year Mather vigorously defended the Park Service policy of disallowing sheep grazing and restoring the flora in the park:

Many years ago, before the creation of this park, the lower slopes of ancient Mount Mazama and the entire area now reserved and dedicated for park purposes were utilized for the grazing of sheep with the result that the flora of the region was practically destroyed. After the lapse of a quarter century flowers are still exceedingly rare, and it will require the expenditure of much time and money to restore even a small portion of its lost species of plant life. Few places accessible to the public today illustrate more forcibly the destructive action of sheep grazing on high mountain lands than does Crater Lake Park. [4]

By the early 1920s the park wildflowers had been largely restored as a result of Park Service policy. It was reported in 1921 that the park wildflowers presented "such a temptation to wild flower loving visitors that it was necessary to post signs to prevent the depletion of some species." [5] Two years later Superintendent Thomson reported that wildflowers were on the increase in the park, "miles of our roadway being fairly banked with colorful blossoms and the forest glens carpeted with literally hundreds of acres of wild flowers." [6]

In 1918 Sparrow initiated a program to exterminate certain predators in the park as a means of encouraging the growth of the deer and small mammal populations. Cougar, lynx, timber wolves, and coyotes were the objects of the extermination program. That year Sparrow was pleased to announce that deer and bear were growing in numbers and becoming "quite tame."

He also echoed earlier recommendations to expand the park boundaries to include the Diamond Lake area. The expansion was necessary, according to the superintendent, in part because the existing park was "too small for a game preserve." He noted:

. . . Many of the deer get quite tame and it seems like murder to kill them when they stray across the boundary. One case in point occurred recently during the hunting season. Voley Pearsons, of Klamath Falls, shot a doe on the road about 300 yards outside the southern entrance to the park. The doe had frequently visited the ranger's cabin and was so tame that it would not run when an auto approached. As it is unlawful to kill a doe at any time, the man was arrested by the Park. Service and turned over to the local authorities at Fort Klamath, where he was fined $25 and costs. This case is cited only as evidence of the necessity of enlarging our game preserve. [7]

Wildlife in the park continued to become more numerous in 1919, particularly black. and brown bears and deer. The bears were becoming "very tame," with black bears being "seen almost daily in the neighborhood of the lodge and the construction camps." Taking photographs of feeding bears was becoming a popular visitor diversion. Smaller forms of wildlife were becoming more plentiful as a result of the continuing extermination program. A small herd of fifteen Yellowstone elk. had been turned loose in the adjacent forest reserve near Seven-Mile Creek in 1917, and by 1919 the herd was using the southern portion of the park as a summer range.

During 1919 there were no major forest fires in the park. Electric storms in August, however, started minor fires, and a fire on the forest reserve west of Union Peak that crossed the park boundary caused little damage as "it was confined to snow brush on an old burn." To preclude such fires in the future work was initiated to cut brush and clear a fire lane along the park boundaries. [8]

In 1920 Sparrow reported that fewer bears had been sighted in the park. He observed:

Though bear make frequent visits to the construction camps in search of food, they appear less numerous than last season when they could be seen almost any day and furnished considerable entertainment for tourists. That they are fewer in numbers this season is probably due to their ceasing to fear man and his works and hence were easy victims of hunters and trappers when they left the park for their winter quarters.

This observation led Sparrow to renew his support for an extension of the park boundaries. He commented that "when a national park is established it should be large enough to let a scared bear or deer have a good run without going over the boundary to be killed."

During 1920 the fire lane project was continued to aid park personnel in resource management and preservation. Brush was cut "from a strip 8 feet wide around the park boundary as a precaution against forest fires and to aid prevention of trespass by stockmen and game poachers." All "trees within this strip were blazed on two sides." [9]

Wildlife issues continued to be of prime concern to park management during the remainder of the 1920s. More bears fed on the garbage dump at Government Camp in 1922 than ever before, attracting considerable interest on the part of park visitors. Deer were increasing, in part because few cougars or other predatory animals had been seen in the park for several years. [10] In 1923 NPS Director Mather offered a glowing account of wildlife in the park:

Wild life has been more abundant than heretofore, several bears daily visiting Government Camp to be fed or kodaked liberally by visitors. They became quite tame by midseason, a fact which unfortunately makes such of them as do not hibernate within the park easy game for hunters. Deer have been exceedingly abundant. Several elk., progeny of the herd transplanted into Klamath County, have been seen occasionally. Foxes, timber wolves, and coyotes were not uncommon sights, and one cougar was reported. Small game is present in countless numbers. Bird life has also been very abundant; a number of rare birds have been identified, and an unusual number of humming birds have been present in the great fields of wild flowers that carpet the forest glens. The ranger force is, however, not sufficient to adequately patrol the 249 square miles of park to protect against poaching. [11]

The park continued to encourage the growth of the bear population in part as a tourist attraction. In 1924 Superintendent Thomson reported that ten bears, including four new cubs, were "almost daily visitors at Government Camp, to the great enjoyment of thousands of visitors." As a result of such contact the bears, according to the superintendent, were becoming docile and fearless, thus leading to their destruction by hunters outside the park boundaries. This development led to a successful Park Service effort to have the Oregon state legislature enact legislation in 1925 declaring an eleven-month closed hunting season on bear in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties surrounding the park. [12]

By the late 1920s park wildlife was thriving as a result of the aforementioned legislation, favorable weather and forage conditions, and management policies. In 1929, for instance, Superintendent Solinsky reported:

Our wild life did exceedingly well this year because of favorable weather and forage conditions, which have been exceptionally good throughout the park. The bears, our most attractive animals, created considerable interest among the visitors and were seen at all centers of habitation. Deer were seen in practically every part of the park during the year, and indications point to a considerable increase in number. One herd of five elk. was noticed in the southern part of the park. Signs of the predator animals, such as cougar, wolf, and coyote, show the presence of these animals in comparatively large numbers. One wolf was seen on the north rim, while a number of coyotes were reported as seen in various sections of the park. Small animal life such as marmot, ground squirrels, chipmunk, and conies were seen in great numbers. Occasionally pine martins were reported, showing the existence of this animal in the park.

Bird life was much in evidence. The most common species were camp robbers, bluejays, Clark's crows, nut hatches, juncoes, robins, finches, hawks, ravens, and humming birds Eagles were seen about Wizard Island on numerous occasions. [13]

Park management devoted increasing attention to the enhancement of fishing opportunities at Crater Lake during the 1920s. The lake was planted with 20,000-30,000 rainbow fingerlings and salmon silversides each year through the cooperation of the Fort Klamath and Butte Falls hatcheries and the State Game Commission. The silversides were found to thrive better than the rainbow trout. Stream fishing was less satisfactory than that in the lake, but good catches of Dolly Varden were reported in Anna Creek. In 1925 "four fine trout streams heretofore sterile" were planted with eastern brook. and loch leven" with the intention of opening those streams to sportsmen in several years. [14]

Forestry issues, especially control of damage from insect infestation, became a major focus of park concern after 1923. That year Superintendent Thomson stated, "Outside of the lake itself our great cover of coniferous trees gave greatest pleasure to visitors." He went on to observe, "Unfortunately the thousands of trees killed by beetles during recent years present a sad aspect, projecting a definite problem that must soon be met." [15]

A preliminary study made by the U.S. Bureau of Entomology in 1924 indicated that infestation had wrought havoc throughout an area of some thirty square miles of lodgepole pine north of Crater Lake. The destruction had begun ten years before in the stands surrounding Diamond Lake and had subsequently spread southward toward Crater Lake. Thus, thousands of dead trees marred the forest vista and constituted a grave fire hazard in the northern and northeastern sections of the park. Since the infestation was spreading, immediate control measures were recommended both in the park and the surrounding forest reserves. [16]

An insect-control program, known as the Crater Lake Park. Control Project, was initiated under the direction of J. E. Patterson, Assistant Entomologist of the U.S. Bureau of Entomology, during 1925-27 under a special congressional appropriation. Two species of bark. beetles were targeted by the project--the mountain pine beetle attacking lodgepole pine and the western pine beetle attacking yellow pine, with the major operations being directed against the former.

Prior to the project it was determined that some 22,000 acres of the park lodgepole pine forests north of Crater Lake had been infested. Control work was not conducted on that area, however, because a high percentage of the trees had already been killed. Rather the control work. was concentrated on the 8,000-acre infested area of lodgepole pine south of Crater Lake in Pinnacles, Kerr, and Munson valleys, and Anna Spring vicinity. A total of 9,696 lodgepole pine and 43 yellow pine were treated. The solar heat method of control (felling infested trees, lopping off limbs and exposing bark to direct sunlight, thus killing the larvae and beetles in the bark.) was used to treat the lodgepole pines, while the yellow pines were treated by burning the infested bark in pits in the ground. The project resulted in checking the infestation south of Crater Lake and saving approximately 12,000 lodgepole pine trees. [17]

The insect control program resumed in 1929 because infestation epidemics outside the park boundaries were spreading into the park. Funds were transferred to Crater Lake from appropriations for Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone national parks to undertake the work. In 1928 it was estimated that there were in the park 33,920 acres of dead lodgepole pine forest, 7,100 acres of active and epidemic infestation, and 15,360 acres uninfested. During the period May-July 1929 some 23,239 trees were treated for mountain pine beetle infestation in the Pinnacles Valley, Munson Valley, Anna Spring, Castle Creek, and Anna Creek. (Middle and East Forks) areas of the park. [18]


From 1930 to 1942, when World War II began to have a major impact on park operations, resource management concerns, except for forestry insect control programs, appeared to become secondary to other emphases such as development and construction. Park. management continued various programs, however, to promote the increase of park wildlife. Efforts were made to attract wildlife, such as deer, to visitor use areas, one example being the placement of brick salt at Anna Spring, park headquarters, and Rim Village in 1930. [19]

Park. management continued to monitor and encourage wildlife activities at Crater Lake during the 1930s. In the early years of the decade the Park Service began compiling estimated wildlife censuses for the parks. The earliest such census for Crater Lake that research uncovered was for 1932. That year it was estimated that big game animals in the park included 19 elk, 60 mule deer, 250 black-tailed deer, 2 antelope, and 40 black bears. [20] Later in the decade the park began preparing annual wildlife reports which consisted of estimates of various species and observations on their habitat and migratory patterns. The earliest such report that research uncovered was for 1940. In that year estimates of wildlife in the park included 10 badgers, 50 black. bears, 2 cascade bobcats, 5 mountain coyotes, 80 black-tailed deer, 25 mule deer, 6 white-tail deer, 6 Rocky Mountain elk, 10 Cascade red foxes, and 30 porcupines. [21]

By the late 1930s bear-visitor problems had become endemic at Crater Lake and other national parks, thus leading to increased concern for visitor protection and safety. As a result Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes issued a systemwide regulation forbidding the public to feed bears. In accordance with the new policy NPS Director Arno B. Cammerer wrote a letter to Superintendent Leavitt on March 24, 1938, urging him to initiate publicity and educational park programs to encourage the public to stay away from the bears. He urged modification or elimination of bear shows at dump sites by park personnel and shipment of troublesome bears to outside agencies. [22]

Park management continued to ensure good fishing prospects in the lake and other streams during the 1930s. In October 1929 some 7,000 fingering trout from the State Fish Hatchery at Butte Falls were planted in the lake and streams, making fishing in the lake and Sun Creek exceptionally good during the 1930 season. [23] During the fall of 1931 some 200,000 fingerling rainbow trout and salmon silversides were planted in the lake and some 40,000 in smaller streams in the western and central portions of the park, thus making fishing in Crater Lake, according to Superintendent Solinsky, "superior to any location in the vicinity, including both Diamond Lake and Lake of the Woods." [24]

Fish planting became one of the responsibilities of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) programs at Crater Lake during the 1930s. In 1935-36, for instance, ECW personnel planted more than 100,000 fingerling trout in the lake and some 75,000 fingerlings in park streams. [25] The following year Superintendent Canfield reported that Crater Lake had "strengthened its reputation as being one of the choice fishing spots in the west," there being frequent reports of limit catches which had been raised to twelve trout. [26]

Forest insect control continued to be a prime focus of Crater Lake resource management efforts during the 1930s. After 1929 the threat of the bark beetle epidemic waned on unprotected forest areas at Crater Lake. Park. management adopted a plan of mopping up all epidemic centers within the park and on national forest lands within a 15-20-mile radius of the park. With the extension of this program the control results on the protected areas improved. This change of program increased the number of trees treated annually from some 3,700 trees before 1929 to an average of 16,800 trees during the early 1930s. Among the areas treated during the early 1930s were Anna Creek., Castle Creek, Sun Creek., and Mount Scott in the park and Sand Creek in Umpqua National Forest. [27]

A new method of pine beetle eradication was introduced in 1932. The method and rationale behind its use were described by Superintendent Solinsky:

This year the so-called solar method of pine beetle eradication was not found completely effective in thick forested areas and on northern exposures, due to extremely cold weather. Under such conditions a method of eradication by burning using an oil spray proved 100 percent effective. It is thought that the pine beetles are well under control and only a small allotment will be required each year to keep them so. [28]

The mountain pine beetle epidemic in the park was declared to be eradicated in November 1933 by Entomologist F.P. Keen of the U.S. Bureau of Entomology. He observed:

That the mountain pine beetle in the pine stands of Crater Lake National Park. was brought completely under control by the work conducted in the spring of 1932 was further verified by the scouting and control work conducted during 1933. While a few scattered infested trees could be found, there was no evidence of concentrated grouping of beetle activity. On most of the park units the beetles are all but exterminated. Therefore for the next few years, only a maintenance control program needs to be considered on Park forests.

A highly dangerous concentration of beetles in the Sun Pass area of the Rogue River National Forest a mile or so from the southeast corner of the Park. still continues as an aggressive epidemic and is a menace to the park in that at any time a migration of beetles back into the park may take place. It is hoped that this infestation can be completely cleaned up next spring.

Keen went on to describe control work during the spring of 1933:

The maintenance program for 1933 called for the treatment of about 5,000 trees at a cost of $4,000. This program was started early in June when spotting crews were placed in the field to mark the infested trees and some treatment at the lower elevations was started by the regular experienced control crews.

Then two of the Emergency Conservation Work camps were established in the Park, one on Anna Creek and the other on Sand Creek and the beetle control work made an important part of their activity. For a time as many as 200 men from the CCC camps were employed in the beetle control work. As a consequence a large area of the Park was thoroughly combed for infestation and a complete clean up secured. Even so only 7,026 infested trees of which 5,794 were lodge pole were found on the 30,750 acres covered. . . . [29]

In 1936 it was evident that white pine blister rust was rapidly approaching the park. It was determined that protection of the Cloudcap area and its homogeneous stand of whitebark pine was imperative. Accordingly the Cloudcap Blister Rust Control Unit was established as a cooperative venture with the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1937. Within three years more than 133,600 alternate host plants (Ribes sp.) were eradicated in a control unit of 3,632 acres. [30]

During 1936 a vegetation type survey of Crater Lake National Park was conducted as an Emergency Conservation Work National Park Service project under the supervision of the Branch of Forestry. Field work was started on May 21 and completed on August 15, and the office work. connected with the survey was done at the Berkeley office of the Branch of Forestry during the winter months. Personnel of the crew consisted of Martin H. Mitchell, Junior Forester Homer W. Marion, Assistant to Technician, and two men from the local Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. Planimetering of the types was done by Dean F. Schlobohm, Junior Forester.

The vegetation type survey was conducted to meet an ever increasing need for a map showing the composition, extent, and character of the park vegetation. The data was to be used as a basis for:

1. Rating fire hazard and protection planning
2. Planning insect and disease control
3. Determining the proper use and treatment of land for recreation, campground development, wild life, reforestation, erosion control, etc.
4. Augmenting the supply of knowledge concerning the flora and other natural features of the area in question
5. Providing an inventory of forest lands

The ultimate objective of the project was to produce not only a vegetation type map but also a reference map, vegetation type sample plot records, narrative type descriptions, and illustrated herbarium specimens. One of the products of the survey was a condensed summary of vegetation types in the park:

Herb--grass and semi-barren herb-grass3,636.33
Douglas fir belt1,006.14
Ponderosa pine belt6,014.33
Pine-fire belt41,128.14
Lodgepole pine-hemlock73,450.20
Fir belt17,885.65
White bark pine587.37

While some fire protection improvements had been constructed in the park prior to 1930, lack of funds and information limited such endeavors. In 1930 John D. Coffman, Chief of Forestry of the National Park. Service, prepared the first "Report on the Fire Protection Requirements of Crater Lake National Park." The report, which served as a blueprint for the development of the park fire protection program during the next decade, surveyed fire hazards in the park and included recommendations on the need for fire equipment, a fire detection system, personnel placement, cooperation, training, and hazard reduction measures. Among other recommendations the report urged that the following be constructed to provide adequate protection against fire for park forests and facilities:

Protection telephone lines
Fire protection buildings (fire lookout on Watchman Peak)
Protection road (rim to Mount Scott)
Protection motorways (75.9 miles)
Protection trails (3 miles) [32]

In 1942 Associate Regional Forester Jack B. Dodd prepared a comprehensive "Report on Forest Protection Requirements for Crater Lake National Park." The report presented an overview of forest protection policies in the park from the time of Coffman's report until May 1942. The study found that there had been 152 fires in the park during the eleven-year period from 1931 through 1941--110 lightning-caused and 42 man-caused (smoker, 24; camper, 5; debris, 4; and miscellaneous, 9). As part of the campaign to promote fire prevention, efforts had been made to establish strict park regulations regarding fires and to promote general public awareness of the fire threat.

During the 1930s and early 1940s the park engaged in an active fire hazard reduction program using the services of Civilian Conservation Corps personnel. Clean-up to reduce the fire hazard was carried out along all major roads, power and telephone clearings, and some of the motorways. "Cat trails" were cut through the formerly logged Yawkey Tract and efforts to clean up the unburned slash and snags cleft by the clogging operations in the area were conducted to reduce the fire hazard and preserve the vegetative cover of the tract. Two primary fire detection lookouts were located in the park, one on the rim of the crater on the west side of the lake called the Watchman and the other on Mount Scott, a volcanic cone on the east side of the lake several miles distant from the crater rim. During the 1930s two seasonal fire guards were on the forest protection and fire prevention payroll, both of whom were stationed at park headquarters until 1940. In 1941 one remained at the headquarters to handle fire matters in the southern half of the park, while one was stationed at the North Rim Ranger Station. An extensive telephone and radio system was installed and proved useful in fire suppression work. Fire weather stations were maintained at park headquarters, the two lookouts, and Lost Creek Ranger Station during the fire seasons in 1938, and the U.S. Forest Service cooperated by providing weather data. The park purchased enough fire fighting equipment to supply 150 to 175 men. Annual firefighting training schools for park personnel were instituted in the late 1930s, and in 1935 plans were drawn up by the chief ranger outlining the duties of fire protection personnel and providing for the employment of transient labor to supplement the ranger organization, other park personnel, and CCC enrollees in fighting fires on an as-needed basis. In 1937 cooperative agreements were drawn up with the Rogue River and Umpqua national forests and the Klamath Indian Reservation for mutual fire suppression aid. These cooperative agreements were extended indefinitely in 1938. [33]


Despite the virtual shutdown of regular park operations during World War II, park management continued to be concerned with resource management issues. One of the continuing problems facing the park was wildlife protection. In November 1944, for instance, the park master plan described the problems facing park wildlife:

The topography of Crater Lake National Park. consists mainly of a mountain top of high elevation, without adequate winter range in the adjacent valleys for the various park animals, which migrate to lower elevations each winter because of the deep snow fall. Except for such animals as hibernate during the winter months, no natural faunal unit exists within the park, which in reality constitutes an entirely inadequate range for many of the larger or migratory park animals, and causes them to fall prey to hunters and trappers each year as they move outside of the park boundaries.

The area immediately to the east of the park is adjacent to the Klamath Indian Reservation, and the Indians, natural-born hunters, recognize no closed season. The east slope of the Cascade Range in the park area is therefore believed becoming particularly depleted of various larger or migrating animals. The west slope of the range, a small part of which is within the park, and the area to the west of the park boundary in the Rogue River National Forest, constitutes a more favorable range. Unfortunately these animals, particularly bear and deer, migrate in and out of the park into the adjacent National Forest area or on to privately owned lands, where more or less hunting of bear, deer and lesser animals continues throughout the year, with but slight regard for the open and closed seasons, enforcement of which is vested in local authorities. Many "old-timers" still consider they are justified in killing a deer, an elk or a bear any time they get the chance. [34]

In terms of wildlife concerns bear management problems continued to be the principal problem facing the park. On August 17, 1942, a special report on the issue stated:

The lack of travel due to the war restrictions, and the absence of CCC camps, road contractors camps, etc. has resulted in a drastic reduction in the amount of garbage heretofore available at our garbage disposal area. The bears, which have been spoiled for a good many years back by having ample food supplies, still hang around this pit, expecting to be fed, instead of getting out and rustling their own living. The result is that the bears have been hungry and as a consequent have been ill-tempered and more dangerous than at any time in the past several years. They have also done considerable damage, and have made themselves a nuisance generally.

A month later Superintendent Leavitt submitted to NPS Director Newton B. Drury a list of twelve serious "bear depredations" in the park during the summer. [35]

Crater Lake officials took. various actions to deal with the bear problem in the park. In 1943 park rangers at Crater Lake, along with those in Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, initiated programs that resulted in the disposal of some 87 bears as a population control measure and to eliminate animals that were dangerous to human beings. [36] Two years later a new garbage disposal site was established in an isolated area at the lower end of Munson Valley, some 2-1/2 miles south of park headquarters where the original garbage dump had been located. Although signs were posted "Danger--Do Not Feed the Bears" there was a continuing problem with park visitors feeding bears from their cars along park roads, thus causing traffic obstruction and risks to visitor safety. One boy was severely bitten during such an incident. Efforts were made to educate the public about the personal dangers associated with feeding bears as well as the fact that feeding bears often led to their becoming troublesome. [37]

Management of fishing and fish planting continued to be issues of concern to park management during the war. New fishing regulations were issued on April 6, 1942. The revised rules provided for:

A state or federal license to fish in Crater Lake National Park. is not required. Fishing with nets, seines, traps, or by the use of drugs or explosives, or for merchandise or profit, or in any way other than with hook and line, the rod being held in the hand, is prohibited.

Fishing in particular waters may be suspended, or restricted. Although general regulations governing parks permit a catch of only ten fish per person per day, the number of fish that may be caught in Crater Lake National Park has been set at 12 fish per person per day. . . . The limit of fish in possession at any one time is two days' catch.

No fish less than six inches long may be retained, unless a different limit is established by special regulations. All fish hooked less than such limit in length shall be carefully handled with moist hands and returned at once to the water, if not seriously injured. Undersized fish retained because seriously injured shall be counted in the number of fish which may be taken in one day.

Some 20,000 rainbow trout from the state fish hatcheries at Butte Falls and Fort Klamath were planted in Crater Lake in 1941. Thereafter, planting was discontinued and would never be resumed. [38] (See below for a copy of "Fish Liberations In Crater Lake" during 1910-41.)

Fish Liberations in Crater Lake

Silver Salmon


Old Naturalist Files, Crater Lake National Park.

Protection of park forests against forest fires was one of the principal concerns of park management during the war. The park fire protection program was divided into three categories for management purposes: prevention, presuppression, and suppression. Prevention included public control and education and fire hazard reduction. Presuppression comprised organized personnel training, acquisition of fire equipment, and physical improvements. The latter included protection motorways, fire, horse, and foot trails, and fire breaks; lookout stations on the Watchman and Mount Scott; four ranger stations at the north entrance, Annie Spring, Lost Creek, and park headquarters; five patrol cabins at National, Bybee, Red Blanket, and Bear creeks and Maklak Spring, a radio and telephone communication system; and fire toolboxes and caches. Suppression of fire was to be accomplished primarily by trained park personnel employing hand tools. Cooperative fire fighting agreements were in force with all adjoining forest protection agencies. To strengthen the park's fire-fighting capability a detailed Memorandum of Understanding between the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture for mutual aid in fire control was approved in January 1943. [39]

By the early 1940s a soil and moisture conservation program had been initiated at Crater Lake. The program, as described in November 1944, had two principal objectives for resource management:

1. To stop erosion on slopes, cuts, fills, embankments, borrow pits and quarry sites, and to promote growth of grasses, plants, shrubs, bushes and trees on all such areas where vegetation is now lacking, in order to restore these slopes to a more pleasing and natural condition and at the same time materially reduce the present heavy annual maintenance costs of removing eroded material.

2. To stop erosion of Crater Walls at developed or improved areas in an effort to preserve and protect the rim of the crater and save trees, bushes, shrubs, plants, and grassed areas from destruction. To prevent erosion of the soil on which improvements exist, viz, sidewalks, parapet walls, buildings, landscape planting, etc. [40]

The year 1946 marked a transition from war-time to peace-time operations which entailed many readjustments in forest protection at Crater Lake. During the year the ranger and fire protection forces handled only five forest fires, all inside the park, three of which were lightning-caused and two man-caused. The Fire Weather Unit of the U.S. Weather Bureau broadcast daily fire weather forecasts and supplemented these with telegraphic forecasts at particularly critical periods. Local fire weather conditions were determined by the stations at park headquarters and the Watchman Lookout. A revised administrative plan of action (Strength of Force Plan) was developed to ensure improved fire protection and suppression (a copy of the plan may be seen in Appendix A). Improvements were made to the Watchman and Mount Scott lookouts, the park telephone and radio communication systems, and the truck trail system for fire control purposes. [41]

During the fall of 1946 a field survey and report of mountain pine beetle infestation conditions by R.L. Furniss of the Portland Laboratory of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine led to the development of an insect control project at Crater Lake. The project was carried out in May-June 1947 and had as its objective the halting of an aggressive beetle infestation in the lodgepole pine stands in the southeastern section of the park. Two treating methods were used--solar heat and lethal oil spray. Wherever possible the solar heat method was employed as it was quicker and less costly. Both methods required that the trees be felled, limbed, and the tops cut off. [42]

During the postwar years park management gave increasing attention to the question of recreational fishing at Crater Lake. While a definitive policy was not formulated, the park took the position of neither encouraging nor discouraging fishing pending further limnological studies. In August 1948 Superintendent Leavitt explained the rationale behind the park staff's thinking on the subject:

. . . beginning with the season of 1937 a research project was started by conducting limnological studies by Professor A.D. Hasler under the supervision of former Park Naturalist John E. Doerr. The primary purpose was to determine the amount and character of fish food available in the lake to the rate of growth of fish, fishing conditions, and related data in order to obtain the information necessary in carrying out our fish planting and fish catching program. These studies have been carried out since that date from season to season under the general supervision of Dr. Donald S. Farner, interrupted, of course, by the war period and Dr. Farner s inability to be with us every season.

Our studies began on a theory that fish were unable to spawn in Crater Lake. We found this to be untrue as there is definite evidence that the silverside salmon do spawn in Crater Lake, and we have good reason to believe that the rainbow trout do also. If natural spawning occurs in the lake, the management program that we visualized at the beginning of our study cannot be carried out because of inability to control the number of fish that might be introduced into the lake through spawning. All our studies to date indicate that there is a great deal of information still to be obtained before we can determine whether we shall attempt to continue Crater Lake as a fishing lake as it has been in past years or whether we will let the fish die out and keep Crater Lake in a natural and unmodified condition without fish life as it was when first discovered.

More and more we are thinking seriously of endeavoring in every possible way to keep the waters of Crater Lake, the crater walls, and Wizard Island areas in as natural a condition as possible, unmodified by the hand of man.

There are many lakes in Oregon suitable for fishing, boating, swimming, and other recreational sports, but there is only one Crater Lake in the world. [43]


Resource management issues during the 1950s and 1960s remained similar to those of earlier years. The park continued to have bear problems in the postwar years. In response to a request from the regional director in San Francisco Superintendent Leavitt in February 1951 reported on the issue and park efforts to eliminate the trouble. Leavitt listed a number of ways in which park management had attempted to meet the problem, "all of which have been partially successful but none of which have been as successful as we might wish." These efforts included:

1. Education of government, concessioner, and contractor employees and park visitors against feeding bears by hand or from cars

2. Education of campers in protecting food supplies

3. Efforts to discourage bears by daily removal of garbage, particularly late in the afternoon

4. Placement of garbage containers at government residences inside of buildings

Leavitt recommended that the park staff be permitted to give a citation with penalty to anyone feeding the bears. [44]

The park's bear policies were generally consistent with the wildlife policy as stated in the NPS Administrative Manual developed in the 1950s. That policy read:

The animals indigenous to the parks shall be protected, restored if practicable, and their welfare in a natural wild state perpetuated. Their management shall consist only of measures conforming with the basic laws and which are essential to the maintenance of populations and their natural environments in a healthy condition. [45]

In line with that policy park management, after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Montana Department of Fish and Game, purchased in 1959 a "Cap-chur" gun and necessary accessories and drugs to experiment with removing troublesome bears rather than by trapping. [46]

The issue of fishing and fish planting at Crater Lake had become a subject of intense debate by 1958. As a result O.L. Wallis, an aquatic biologist, undertook a study to determine whether the lake should be restocked to improve fishing or whether sole reliance should be placed upon the limited natural reproduction of rainbow trout and kokanee salmon to maintain limited sport fishing.

As part of his study Wallis examined the history of fish planting in Crater Lake. Since the original stocking of fish in the lake in 1888 various species had been introduced with varying degrees of success. All species died out within several years with the exception of the rainbow trout and kokanee salmon which had been able to maintain small, fluctuating populations by natural reproduction. Areas for natural spawning were few, and the quantity and quality of foods available for fish were limited.

The introduction of exotic fishes had upset the original ecological conditions in the lake to a certain extent. The unique Mazama salamander, endemic to Crater Lake, had been utilized as food by the fish in the lake. This salamander and possibly numbers of various other endemic organisms had been reduced by the exotic fishes.

Prior to 1941 periodic plantings of salmon and trout maintained a small fishery in Crater Lake. During the next two decades, however, natural reproduction supported the entire fishery at a low but fluctuating level, thus providing limited fishing opportunities for those willing to expend the necessary effort.

Even during years when catch successes were relatively high, fishing pressure on Crater Lake was light. Only 1 out of every 183 park visitors fished at the lake in 1941 when this activity was at its peak. The low level of activity in spite of good fishing success was the result of a variety of factors:

1. Crater Lake was not readily accessible
2. Snow and cold weather conditions made the fishing season short
3. Fishing was restricted to daytime hours
4. Boats were not available during the better fishing periods of early morning and evening
5. Fishing on Crater Lake required unique skill and experience

According to Wallis an expanded and reactivated fishery on Crater Lake would be expensive. It had been estimated that only 0.008 percent of the fish stocked in the lake in the past had been caught. After years of planting thousands of trout, the maximum number of rainbow trout taken in a single year was 593 in 1937.

Improved fishing possibilities would increase the numbers of those participating in that recreational activity. Greater numbers of fishing participants would impact park operations and place greater demands on the park staff resulting in:

1. Increase problems of visitor protection
2. Demands for easier access to the lake
3. Additional boating facilities and overnight accommodations at the edge of the lake
4. Introduction of exotic food organisms to supplement the limited natural supply

Wallis concluded his discussion of lake fishing policy by observing that the National Park Service would be more consistent with its major conservation objectives if it did not attempt either an intensive effort to develop an expanded artificial fishery or to maintain the present inadequate one.

Wallis also addressed the question of fishing policy on the park streams. Personnel of the Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that park streams were "small, cold waters" and that "natural reproduction of brook and rainbow trout was adequate to maintain wild populations" under the existing limited fishing activity. If such pressures should increase and the natural populations became endangered, however, special regulations could be introduced, providing for lower catch and higher size limits, fishing-for-fun only, and use of artificial flies.

In conclusion Wallis recommended that the park adopt a new fishing policy. The policy statement read:

Fishing shall be permitted in Crater Lake and in the streams of Crater Lake National Park, but this activity shall be subordinate importance. The catch shall be dependent upon the self-sustaining populations of fishes. Additional plantings of fishes and other organisms shall not be made in Crater Lake or in the streams. [47]

The proposed policy statement received the endorsement of Regional Director Lawrence C. Merriam on May 2, 1958. While supporting it, however, Merriam felt that the policy should be put into effect gradually:

We believe, however, that care should be taken in putting the policy into effect that we don't stimulate adverse criticism through too rapid action. We feel that a quietly operated program to de-emphasize fishing, coupled with the low survival factor of young fish in the lake waters, will produce the proper climate for cessation of any planting in a few years. Certainly we feel the policy should be operated on a medium range time schedule, with the probable elimination of a public relations problem, rather than a short range time schedule with the likelihood of developing a controversy. [48]

Forest protection continued to be a prime concern of park management during the 1950s and 1960s. A survey of the park forests in 1959-60 found a downward trend in the severity of attacks by mountain pine beetle infestation in the lodgepole and western white pines. It was discovered, however, that there was an upswing in attacks by western pine beetles in the ponderosa pine stands. Thus, a treatment program was commenced to counter that infestation. [49]

Fire prevention and control also continued to be of prime concern to park management. A park fire historical study conducted in July 1964 found, however, that "fire risks and hazards" were "considered to be generally low in this area compared to other parks." The study stated:

Climatic conditions and vegetative development at the Park's high elevations are responsible with its exceptionally high soil moisture content, low litter and debris accumulation and the pumice soil.

The study also provided a summary of the fire history of the park during the previous thirty years:

Annual mean averages during the past 30 years discloses that 7.6 lightning, 1.2 smoker, 0.3 camper, 0.2 debris and 0.5 miscellaneous fires occur each year. The maximum total fires occurring in one season has been 28. During this thirty year period about 85% of all fires were Class A, with 15% being Class B. There have been no Class C, D, or E fires during this period. Non-preventable fires have resulted in 83% Class A fires and 17% Class B fires. Preventable fires resulted in 91% Class A and 9% Class B burns. An average of three acres has burned annually in the Park, with a suppression cost of $645. . . . [50]


Resource management concerns continued to be the focus of considerable attention by Crater Lake National Park personnel during the 1970s and 1980s. In June 1970 the Service adopted three objectives that would govern the parameters for resource management concerns for the decade. These were:

a. The primary natural resources of the park will be managed to insure the perpetuation of the factors basic to the park's establishment

b. Encourage and administer a viable and purposeful research program

c. Road systems and park developments will be brought into balance with demonstrated visitor use patterns with regard to the influence on existing ecosystems [51]

One of the primary issues that continued to face park officials in the early 1970s was wildlife management, particularly as it pertained to black bear. Thus in November 1974 Superintendent Sims approved a bear management plan that was in line with the NPS Advisory Board on Wildlife Management's recommendation "that the biotic associations within each park be maintained or, where necessary, recreated as nearly as possible in the condition that prevailed when the area was first visited by white man."

The approved plan reflected the extension of policies and procedures that had been in place at the park for several years as park managers, in an attempt to revert the black. bear back to its natural food source and to avoid human injury and property damage incidents, had eliminated all dumping within the park, installed bear-proof garbage cans, and initiated a bear research program. It was noted that when Crater Lake was compared with other large national parks the number of bear incidents was not as numerous nor the incidents as serious. Reported personal injuries inflicted by black bears over the previous ten years had averaged one in every two years. Black bears that had been destroyed were few in number and were primarily those who inflicted injuries to humans. It was estimated that the existing bear population in the park was about the same as it had been in 1902, ranging between 75 and 100 animals.

The management objectives of the 1974 bear management plan were three-fold. They read:

1. Preserving and maintaining black. bear populations under natural conditions in their natural habitat

2. Providing for visitor and employee safety and elimination of property damage due to bear incidents

3. Providing opportunities for visitor appreciation and enjoyment by having visitors observe free roaming bears in their natural environment

To provide for effective implementation of the plan a management program was outlined. The program included "action steps" for public relations and visitor appreciation; reporting and claw enforcement procedures, bear-proofing garbage cans, and research on bear ecology, habitat, and behavior. Problem bears would be removed if found to be exhibiting the following behavioral characteristics:

1. Bears threatening people without provocation

2. Bears exhibiting their loss of fear of people by repeatedly entering heavy visitor use areas including campgrounds and residential areas

3. Bears regularly causing major property damage such as breaking windows in cars and trailers or causing considerable property damage when breaking into closed structures

Problem bears would be dispatched only as a last resort. [52]

An updated and revised "Bear Management Plan" for the park was approved by Superintendent Rouse in January 1980. The plan, which provided more detail regarding policy and procedure implementation than the 1974 plan, contained most of the salient points of the earlier document. The 1980 plan was prefaced by a summary account of visitor-bear problems in the park:

Human-bear conflict resulting in property damage has increased over the past few years. No injuries have been recorded, however, several close calls were reported. The conflicts between bears and humans are due to the present and past availability of human supplied food sources for the bears. Food-reward association with humans has resulted in the loss of fear of man and a more sophisticated population of bears is again beginning to develop at Crater Lake. The availability of unnatural food sources is altering the bears natural, wild behavior and foraging habits.

The plan established three management objectives in accordance with NPS policies:

(1) To restore and maintain the natural integrity, distribution, abundance, and behavior of the endemic black bear populations

(2) To provide for the safety of Park visitors by planning the development and use of the Park so as to prevent conflicts and unpleasant or dangerous incidents with bears

(3) To provide opportunities for visitors to understand, observe, and appreciate the black bear in its natural habitat with a minimum of interference by humans

Accordingly the plan implemented a program consisting of five basic elements to prevent the causes of man-bear conflicts: (1) public and employee information and education; (2) removal of artificial food sources; (3) enforcement of regulations regarding feeding of wild animals and proper food storage; (4) control of problem bears; and (5) continuation of a research program on the black bear population dynamics and ecology and monitoring of bear-human relationships. [53]

To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the park's fire prevention and control program a new ''Fire Management Plan'' was approved in August 1977. The purpose of the plan was to provide overall program direction and establish approved procedures for the management of natural, wildland, and prescribed fires within the park. According to the plan, a primary objective of the National Park Service in managing natural areas was the maintenance of ecosystems in as nearly a pristine condition as possible. The primary emphasis was on the preservation of processes, such as plant succession, rather than preservation of single features or species. Thus, an important objective was "the management of fire to simulate pre-settlement influences on natural processes." Since cultural resources and physical facilities needed protection, however, an important objective was the suppression or control of fires which might pose a threat to such resources. Fires that threatened to cause damage outside park boundaries were also to be controlled. To conform with these NPS policies the plan established three specific objectives for fire management at Crater Lake National Park:

1. Any fire which threatens cultural resources or physical facilities will be suppressed, as well as fires which may endanger resources adjacent to the park.

2. Fire will be reintroduced in those vegetation zones in which fire has significant primeval influences on natural succession. This may involve natural and/or prescribed fires. In some areas, heavy fuel accumulations will be reduced by prescribed fires before natural fires are allowed to burn. Two principal components of this objective are the restoration of primeval forest composition and reduction in probability of unnaturally intense or catastrophic wild fires caused by unnaturally high fuel accumulation.

3. Research on the role of fire in various Crater Lake ecosystems will be continued. This will include monitoring of ecological effects of prescribed and natural fires, as well as acquisition of information on fuel accumulations, forest insects and diseases, vegetation dynamics and other topics important to fire management and planning. [54]

Other resource management action plans were developed during the 1970s and 1980s by the Crater Lake staff to deal with specific problems. An example was the "Hazard Tree Management Plan" approved by Superintendent Rouse in July 1982. Many facilities in the park were located in heavily forested areas, surrounded by trees 50 to 150 feet in height. Periodically, trees, or parts of trees, fell and damaged park facilities, and the potential existed for loss of property or injury to park visitors or employees. Thus, the goals of the plan were to: (1) minimize the hazards to park visitors, employees, and facilities; (2) develop and use dependable, well-defined standards for hazard tree identification and evaluation; and (3) maintain the integrity of the park forests to the fullest extent possible. [55] Other examples of resource management action plans include a "Hydroseed Revegetation Plan" in 1985 to restore areas scarred by early park road construction, and a "Peregrine Falcon Action Plan" adopted in 1986 to ensure the retention of a reproductive population of such birds in the park. The former was based on revegetation plans to repair Annie Creek Trail and plant seedlings on the Annie Spring cut-off road cut. The latter plan was developed in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. A "Boat Operation Plan" was approved in May 1980 to provide for maximum human safety and to ensure the environmental integrity of the lake. [56]

By the early 1980s four cooperative agreements had been negotiated between the park and other government agencies for various phases of park resource management. One cooperative agreement was with the U.S. Forest Service for fire suppression and other resource management activities of mutual concern, including hazard tree reduction, cattle trespass across park boundaries, helicopter rental, and equipment loading. Another was with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for research and monitoring of deer and elk. herds, including migration patterns, population trends, and range conditions and management of the reproductive success of the only known nesting peregrine falcons in Oregon. An agreement with the Oregon Department of Forestry provided for the management of prescribed fire smoke. A fourth agreement was with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality which provided for the monitoring of air quality in compliance with the standards of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1977. [57]

During the mid-1970s Crater Lake park managers turned their attention toward the development of a resource management plan for the biological and natural features of the park. The plan was to be in compliance with both NPS management objectives and policies and the park's "Statement for Management." The objectives for resource management as adopted by the Park. Service in July 1975 provided that the "perpetuation of the full diversity of a natural environment of ecosystem . . . is and must remain a distinguishing aspect of the Service's management of natural lands. Policy and management emphasis must be toward perpetuation of these natural processes, assuring that impacts are not irreparable." Accordingly, the Park Service would continue "to perfect its expertise in ecosystem management, including programs relating to wildfire and prescribed burning techniques, wildlife ecology, necessary regulation and control of resource use and pollution control and abatement." Critical resources were to be monitored for change and management of other practices having adverse effects on natural processes was to be modified.

The park's "Statement for Management" developed in 1975-76 stated that it was the objective of the park "to conserve the Park's ecological resources free from adverse influence of man while allowing those types of use and development that do not significantly impair park resources. " For the purposes of natural resource management five land classification zones or ecosystems were recognized in the park: Crater Lake; ponderosa pine forest; lodgepole pine forest; mountain hemlock forest; and pumice desert.

With these objectives as a basis for planning the Crater Lake park staff developed a draft resource management plan in January 1977. Proposed management programs were outlined in the draft plan detailing characteristics of park resources and defining management strategies to achieve park objectives. [58]

To insure that resource management was fully integrated into the park administrative structure the position of Resources Management Specialist was established during the early 1980s. This event was significant in that it represented a change in the attitude of the National Park Service and the park toward a more professional approach with specially trained personnel in the field for local management of park resources.

After further study and refinement a Resource Management Plan for the park was approved in 1982 by Regional Director Daniel J. Tobin. The plan, which was to be revised and updated annually, consisted of two components--a "Natural Resources Management Plan" and a "Cultural Resources Management Plan." The two plans documented resource management needs and priorities through a series of project statements which included proposed actions and specific management guidelines for implementation and essential research studies. The plans served park management as manuals for activities that would preserve resources in the park based on approved management objectives, congressional mandates, and NPS policies. The "Natural Resources Management Plan" had four principal objectives:

1. Resource Protection

a) Maintain or restore the natural systems within the park to those conditions that would now exist were it not for the influence of man since the 1853 Hillman party "discovery of Carter Lake."

b) Preserve the caldera ecosystem as the principal resource of the Park.

c) Maintain ecological integrity of native plants and animals as part of the park ecosystem. Permit animal populations to be regulated by natural processes whenever possible. Encourage the reintroduction of native species and prevent non-native species from displacing indigenous ones.

d) Identify and locate plant and animal species unique to the park or having very limited distribution and control the use or access to habitats of threatened and endangered species.

e) Implement management fires (natural and prescribed) in designated areas based on research and guidelines provided in the approved Crater Lake National Park. Fire Management Plan.

f) Manage those units of the park recommended to Congress for wilderness designation in accordance with the NPS wilderness management policies and the 1964 Wilderness Act.

2. Information Acquisition

Encourage and participate in efforts to acquire and analyze information through research and other means in order to facilitate development of the best possible management strategies for protecting and interpreting park resources.

3. Interpretation and Environmental Awareness

Foster understanding and appreciation of the natural forces responsible for the evolution of spectacular geological features and diverse ecological communities, and to promote awareness of the natural environment through varied interpretive and educational programs that focus on natural processes and resources.

4. Visitor Use

Assure enjoyable visitor experience through the provision of necessary facilities and services on a year-round basis where possible and in a manner that is compatible with the park's aesthetic, natural, and cultural values.

The "Cultural Resource Management Plan" was the responsibility of the Interpretive Division with guidance from the resource management specialist. Its principal objective was "to identify, evaluate, preserve, monitor, and interpret the Park's cultural resources in a manner consistent with requirements of historic preservation law and National Park. Service Policies." [59]

A new Resource Management Plan was approved by Acting Pacific Northwest Regional Director William Briggle on February 28, 1986. The "Natural Resources Management Program" in the plan stated that the park "is primarily a natural resource area, managed in such a manner as to allow natural processes to occur." Nine objectives of the natural resources program were listed:

1. Identify and protect critical resources within the park with the highest priority being those related to the caldera ecosystem.

2. To allow, to the greatest extent possible, natural processes to occur, e.g. wildlife, vegetation, soils, geology, and fire.

3. To foster a public awareness and appreciation for the park specific resources through interpretation and public contact.

4. To gather as much credible and scientifically valid information on park resources, through internal and external means, and to apply that information to management decisions.

5. To monitor activities adjacent or near to park boundaries and to work. cooperatively with other agencies to minimize impacts on park resources.

6. To minimize visitor use impacts on park resources through public education and restriction of activities with potential of impact to areas of low sensitivity.

7. To minimize the impacts of park administrative activity by restricting those activities to areas of low sensitivity and concentrating development to pre-disturbed areas.

9. To correct and rehabilitate areas of previous use so as to restore them to natural appearance and processes.

In the plan the park's natural resources were listed in a general priority based on the criteria of resource sensitivity, applicability of federal or state laws, congressional mandates, responsiveness to management programs, and the immediacy of a perceived threat. The priority listing read:

Caldera ecosystem
Rare and endangered species
Air quality
Fire management
Basic resource inventory
Park management and visitor use
Integrated pest management
Livestock trespass
Pumice field management

The "Cultural Resources Management Program" identified four major historical themes for interpretation and site preservation in the park. These were: (1) Northern Plateau Indians; (2) Discovery and Exploration; (3) Conservation Movement to Protect the Lake; and (4) Park Administration. [60]

During the past several years the park has emphasized a new awareness of its cultural resources under the leadership of Superintendent Robert E. Benton. Among his initiatives have been support for nominating the Munson Valley Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, designating the Superintendent's Residence as a National Historic Landmark, rehabilitating and preserving the historic fabric of the buildings in Munson Valley, performing research on the park's history, and curating the park's extensive museum and archival collections.

As a result of the geothermal exploration program at Crater Lake, vents were discovered on the floor of the lake in 1987. The impact of this discovery will undoubtedly have repercussions on park resource management issues, especially in light of the geothermal features protection section of the Fiscal Year 1987 appropriations bill.

Crater Lake National Park Strength of Force Plan, 1946
V1 - 8 miles or better
V2 - 5 to 8 miles
V3 - 0 to 5 miles
R1 - all foreseen man-cause
R2 - all unforseen man-cause
R3 - forecast of locally observed storm
R4 - general or severe local storm
Symbols used
X - position to be manned and/or action taken
V - visibility
R - risk
Specific Action to be Taken Burning Index Class

Man Watchman and Mt. Scott LookoutsR-3XXXXXX
Activate Dispatcher's OfficeXXXXXXX
Supplement fire protection organization with emergency fire guardsR-4R-4R-3R-3R-3XX
Man all ranger stationsR-3XXXXXX
Man secondary lookouts--Union Peak and Crater Peak--72 hours following thunderstormV-3V-2XXXXX
The regular storehouse man and one mechanic held in Utility Area extra hours, weekends and holidays

One regular member of park clerical force held in Headquarters extra hours, weekends and holidays

All ranger and fire protection personnel on standby

Naturalist staff on standby

All permanent, seasonal and per diem park employees on standby

Patrol of main highway system, campgrounds and picnic areas

No smoking while traveling rule put into effect

All burning operations to cease after 1 day


No burning operations

Blasting permitted with electric caps--watchman on duty one hour after blasting


Blasting in rock cuts where all debris, humis and trees have been removed permitted with electric cap; watchman on duty on hour after blasting


No blasting prohibited


Close motorway system to all travel and use


Restrict visitor use to main highway system and developed areas

Contact all local cooperators

Publicity--notify public through evening programs, contacts at entrance stations, campgrounds, etc.


Contact all park contractors and the public operator--notify of danger and request special precautions


Notify Regional Director's Office of conditions and impending danger


"Annual Forestry Report, Crater Lake National Park," 1946, RG 79, Region IV, Central Classified Files, 1923-65, Crater Lake, Box 21, Folder No. 883, "Part III, 1/1/42 - 1/1/51," FRC, San Bruno.

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Last Updated: 13-Aug-2010