Hopewell Culture
Administrative History
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Resource Management and Visitor Protection

The natural and cultural resource management functions and visitor protection program grew in a haphazard fashion during the pre-development era of Mound City Group National Monument. Until proper facilities were built and funding became available for professional positions, the monument operated as a "one man show" in the form of Clyde B. King. While King could depend on professional advice and assistance from the Region One Office in Richmond (1946-1955) and Northeast Regional Office in Philadelphia (1955-61), actual permanent staff positions for these program areas did not materialize until after King's departure and the MISSION 66 facility developments were in place and operating. Staff additions came only incrementally. Until the late 1960s, only an archeologist supplemented the permanent staff . The resource management and visitor protection (RM & VP) functions grew slowly, a secondary consideration to the more basic need for interpreters to help educate the visiting public concerning the prehistoric Hopewell culture. In essence, the interpretive program was preeminent in the small park's Division of Interpretation and Resource Management, which took form during the decade of the 1970s.

After Clyde King, most of the men who held the job of superintendent were in the park ranger series and possessed law enforcement certification, a skill that only rarely required active use during any calendar year. Surrounded by larger federal installations with capabilities and personnel in far superior numbers to the small National Park Service unit, national monument managers found having these federal neighbors proved invaluable whenever emergency services were required for visitor protection. Resource management issues were readily identified, but were seldom addressed unless one could no longer be ignored or threatened to impede park operations. For decades the park lacked any formal resource management plan. The first one addressing both cultural and natural resources appeared in 1982. [1]

A 1968 management appraisal of Mound City Group's initial forays into resource management interpretation brought the recommendation to kill it. Citing tight budget and personnel ceilings, Assistant Regional Director George A. Palmer advised the practice of holding late evening programs on the visitor center's patio be discontinued because they attracted only small groups of local residents. He doubted the time and expense of providing such a service could be justified, suggesting instead special open house events be held. Palmer believed other means of engendering local support for the monument should be found. [2]

Park managers ignored Palmer's advice, opting not to cancel the special programs that addressed a variety of topics beyond the immediate Hopewell culture theme. The park possessed an array of resources, and managers felt the programs would help establish an appreciation for their promotion and protection. Such an attitude has prevailed to the present day.


Last Updated: 04-Dec-2000