Prince William Forest Park
Administrative History
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Principal interested Parties:

Department of the Navy - U. S. Marine Corps (Navy)
Department of the Interior - National Park Service (Interior)

FACTS: In general, the basis for the need for this Memorandum of Agreement is based on the following facts:

Since 1943, Navy has occupied and used 4862 acres of Interior land at Quantico, Virginia. Public Law 736, 80th Congress (22 June 1948), authorized transfer of this land from Interior to Navy contingent upon acquisition of approximately 1500 acres of land to round out the boundaries of Prince William Park at a cost not to exceed $10, 000. Since this authorization, a dilemma has existed concerning the inadequate funding to acquire the land for park purposes. As a result, transfer of the 4862 acres to Navy has never taken place. Since. 1958, the Marine Corps Development and Education Command has occupied this land under letter permit which is terminable at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior. Over the years, there have been sporadic attempts by Navy and Interior to resolve the dilemma caused by Public Law 736, 80th Congress.

The Marine Corps has a strong requirement for continued usage of the 4862 acres to train Marine Corps personnel. The National Park Service has a recognized need to expand their recreation capabilities. This land adjacent to the Prince William Forest area appears to be ideal for such purposes.

In an effort to develop a compatible solution to the Navy - Interior requirements in the Prince William Forest - Quantico area, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr. George B. Hartzog, Jr. (Director, National Park Service) and Mr. Barry J. Shillito (Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics)). on 12 and 13 December 1963. The Memorandum of Understanding designated Mr. Nash Castro, Department of Interior and Captain Alan C. Gault, CEC, USN, to pursue this problem until both the immediate solution and long-range solution have been realized.

PROBLEM: To formalize agreements reached by principal interested parties subsequent to the signing of the above mentioned Memorandum of Understanding.

PROPOSED COURSE OF ACTION: Navy and Interior, in full appreciation of the mutual interests in the area and after full discussion and negotiation, agree to the following:

a. Department of Interior:

(1) Retain, for exclusive use, that land area adjacent to Breckenridge Reservoir as outlined in general on National Park Service Drawing No. 858-41002-B and signed by the Director, National Park Service and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics).

(2) Transfer all remaining portions of the 4862 acres to the Department of the Navy subject to reversion to the Department of Interior when no longer needed by the Department of Defense.

(3) Interior will draft proposed legislation seeking amendment to Public Law 736 to permit transfer of the lands.

(4) Use Breckenridge Dam Waters on a joint usage basis subject to the following:

(a) Water-based recreation will be in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and Marine Corps Base regulations.

(b) Swimming, to include that incident to survivor training, will not be permitted in waters of the reservoir.

(c) Depth of water impounded by Breckenridge Dam will be under the cognizance and control of the Marine Corps Base, Quantico.

(d) Water impounded by Breckenridge Dam will not be used to support facilities of the National Park Service.

(e) Civilian personnel visiting National Park Service facilities, when boating on the reservoir, will not be permitted to land on property under the cognizance of the Marine Corps.

(f) The Marine Corps will assume no responsibility for the safety of civilians visiting National Park Service facilities while boating on waters of the reservoir.

(g) Boating will not be permitted during hours of darkness or during inclement weather.

(5) Use of the road leading from Route 619 will be on a joint usage basis subject to the following:

(a) Road will not be fenced.

(b) Improvements to or extension of the road to be at the expense of the National Park Service.

(c) Expense of maintenance of the road within the joint use area to be the responsibility of the Marine Corps.

(d) No permanent facilities will be built within the access corridor.

(6) The area to be retained for exclusive use will be subject to the following:

(a) Fencing will be constructed at National Park Service expense along the boundaries of the area except those boundaries fronting Breckenridge Reservoir.

(b) Facilities of the National Park Service will be designed and constructed in such a manner as to prevent pollution of the Watershed. of Breckenridge Reservoir.

(c) National Park Service facilities constructed in the area shall not exceed tree-top level.

b. Department of the Navy:

(1) Navy-owned areas encompassed by the area to be retained by Interior will be transferred to Interior. (2) Assist Interior in detailed land surveys and staff appraisals of the Prince William Forest - Quantico area to determine those lands that may be acquired to round out Prince William Forest. Navy further agrees to actively support Interior before the Bureau of the Budget and the appropriate committees of the Congress in obtaining adequate appropriations to obtain the land in question.

Mr. Nash Castro will continue to be responsible for developing necessary data for the Department of Interior. Captain Alan C. Gault, CEC, USN, will continue to be responsible for such development by the Navy. These representatives will pursue this problem until both the immediate and long-range solutions have been realized.

George B. Hartzog, Jr.
Director, National Park Service
Date: 5/22/69

Frank Sanders
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
(Installations and Logistics)
Date: 27 May 1969

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Last Updated: 31-Jul-2003