Fort Clatsop
Lewis and Clark Trail from Fort Clatsop to the Clatsop Plains
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August 8, 1958

Memorandum (AIR MAIL)

To: Director
From: Acting Regional Director, Region Four
Subject: Research Report on Lewis and Clark Trail, Fort Clatsop to Clatsop Plains, Oregon

Attached are three copies of a historical report on the location of the trail used by members of the Lewis and Clark party in going from Fort Clatsop to the coast. This report was prepared by Regional Historian Hussey in response to Mr. R. F. Lee's memorandum of June 17.

For reasons explained in the report, it was not considered practicable or desirable to attempt to trace the trail in detail southward and westward beyond the place where it crossed the Skipanon River, at the eastern edge of the Clatsop Plains.

The report contains Dr. Hussey's recommendations concerning those sections of the trail which it would be desirable to include, from a historical and interpretive standpoint, within the boundaries of the authorized Fort Clatsop Memorial. We concur in these recommendations.

In particular, we wish to state our firm conviction that the primary consideration in fixing the boundaries of the authorized Memorial should be to obtain adequate land for re-creating and protecting the original primitive scene insofar as practicable in the vicinity of the Fort Clatsop site. In our opinion, the addition of a short length of the trail -- say 1/2 mile -- and a few acres of hemlock forest, to the basic area necessary to assure this protection of the historic scene would not produce sufficient historical and interpretive values to compensate for the practical administrative problems (see pages 32-34 of the report) which would be generated.

On the other hand, we believe there is at the proposed Memorial an excellent, imaginative, opportunity to make it possible for visitors to re-live the pioneering experiences of the Lewis and Clark party along the trail to the ocean. This further opportunity -- beyond the primary Memorial boundary objective as discussed in the foregoing -- lies in adding to the Memorial a really significant section of the trail as proposed in the attached report. We realize, however, the difficulties which can be anticipated in the attempted acquisition of the approximately 575 acres of commercially valuable timber land which will be needed to accomplish this objective. But, if it is considered desirable to make the trail an important feature of the Memorial, we say let us do a real job of it, or let us leave it alone entirely.

Herbert Maier
Acting Regional Director

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Last Updated: 04-May-2004