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Conservation and Preservation

Olympic National Forest was established in 1897 by Executive order of President Cleveland. During the next 3 years, Messrs. Arthur Dodwell and Theodore Rixon surveyed this forest reserve. They produced the first accurate map and gave a detailed account of the forests.

Efforts to preserve the Olympic wilderness started in 1904. Representative Francis W. Cushman, of Tacoma, introduced a bill for the establishment of Elk National Park. The bill did not pass. In 1906 and 1908, Representative William E. Humphrey, of Seattle, introduced bills in Congress to create a game refuge on the Olympic Peninsula. These bills also failed. Representative Humphrey was genuinely interested in doing something to preserve the Roosevelt elk of the Olympics. Two days before the end of the Theodore Roosevelt administration he asked the President to set aside a national monument in the Olympic Mountains under authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. By Presidential proclamation, Mount Olympus National Monument, containing 615,000 acres, was established in 1909. President Wilson reduced this to approximately 328,000 acres in 1915.

The monument was within the boundaries of the Olympic National Forest. From 1909 to 1933, it was administered by the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture. By Executive order, President Franklin D. Roosevelt transferred the monument to the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, on June 10, 1933.

Efforts to establish a national park in the Olympics were renewed in 1935. Representative Monrad C. Wallgren, of Everett, repeatedly introduced bills to have this done, but without success at first. President Roosevelt visited the Olympic Peninsula in 1937 and expressed approval of a large Olympic National Park. Then, in 1938, Representative Wallgren's efforts began to bear fruit. The act of June 29, 1938, established Olympic National Park and abolished Mount Olympus National Monument. Additions to the park were made in 1940, 1943, and 1953, and it now contains 887,986.91 acres of Federal lands.

The park was formally dedicated on June 15, 1946.

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