Master Plan
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The National Park Service has the opportunity and the responsibility to interpret and protect the historic resources associated with the people, places, and events of the Nez Perce Country of Idaho. Twenty-four sites scattered over nearly 100 miles square were considered significant and were recommended for inclusion in the park. The National Park Service would own sites at Spalding, East Kamiah, White Bird Battlefield, and Canoe Camp. All other sites would be managed through cooperative agreement between the National Park Service and the agency involved.


The limitations of 1,500 acres of land for acquisition in fee and 1,500 acres of scenic easement lands as authorized by the bill which created the park is not adequate to provide the minimum acreage required for effective management of the area. The Idaho State Department of Highways should be encouraged to actively participate in the park development by purchase of scenic easement through provisions of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 as implemented by the State; thereby providing scenic protection which the National Park Service cannot otherwise provide.

The boundary at Spalding should be extended if research indicates that the original site of the McBeth House is outside the present boundary.

General Development. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)


Zone I—Acquire mineral, land, and water rights in fee, subject to existing rights-of-way. Grazing in conformity with good husbandry practice may be allowed.

Zone II—Scenic easement rights, subject to existing rights-of-way, are the minimum requirements. For mining, industrial activities, or the building of any structure are prohibited. Farming or grazing in conformity with good husbandry practices may be allowed. Ordinary maintenance of buildings now existing on the land will be permitted.

Zone III—Lands not in Service ownership that are necessary to maintain the park-like quality and the historic integrity of the area. Protection against outdoor advertising and junkyards as provided under provisions of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, Titles I and II. The Idaho State Highway Department is responsible for 'effective control' of these activities for 660 feet and 1,000 feet from the highway right-of-way, respectively.

Zone IV—Lands not in Service ownership that are necessary to maintain the park-like quality and the historic integrity of the area. Unsightly conditions, the building of any structure, and mining or commercial activities will be prohibited. Farming or grazing in conformity with good husbandry practices may be allowed.


Certain economic and social benefits can be realized by inhabitants of the Nez Perce Country through the creation and development of the park. The Nez Perce Indians are to be included in the park operation as much as possible, consistent with the management of historical areas, through outright employment, encouragement to develop Nez Perce handicraft, folklore and culture, and by the Park Service maintaining-liaizon with the tribe for suggestions concerning park operation. The Nez Perce and non-Indians owning lands within the proposed park boundary may be afforded life tenure upon the judgment of the Secretary of the Interior.


Since the donation of the Spalding State Park included understanding that picnicking would continue, the National Park Service will honor this commitment. The picnicking, which is in the midst of a significant historical site, should be transferred to a nearby area as the interpretation of the historic site increases. Continued effort will be made to encourage the development of picnicking facilities by others outside of the historical park so that sometime in the future the complete removal of picnicking from the historical park can be made with approval of the State of Idaho.


Because of the richness and variety of historical events associated with this park, coupled with the need for in-depth historic site analysis, a formal historical research management plan will be required.



Park Headquarters and Interpretive Facilities. Provide a building to contain park headquarters, interpretation, and information. Location of the building is to be governed by ease of access from U.S. 95 and the future construction of an interchange. Provide necessary interpretive devices.

Roads. Provide a road and terminal parking from the interpretive building to Spalding Mission Site. This road is to have only one entrance at interpretive building.

Trails. Provide historical trails to the historical resources as necessary to effectively interpret the area.

Restoration. Obliterate all unnecessary roads, buildings, and utilities.

Land Map—Spalding. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

East Kamiah

Interpretive Facility. Provide a manned interpretive facility with easy access from U.S. 12 and located so that interpretation of the Heart of the Monster is possible.

Roads. Provide a road and terminal parking or a trail from the interpretive building to the Sue McBeth House.

Walks. Provide walks in the vicinity of the Sue McBeth House.

Landscape Screening Provide planting to reduce the influence of U.S. 12 on visitors when viewing the Heart of the Monster and the Sue McBeth House.

Restoration. Obliterate all unnecessary roads; buildings, and utilities.

Land Map—East Kamiah. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

White Bird Battlefield

Interpretive Facility. Provide a manned interpretive and information facility adjacent to the proposed U.S. 95 and connected to the old U.S. 95.

Cooperative Overlooks. Cooperate with the State of Idaho to construct approximately four over-looks on the proposed U.S. 95, from which interpretation of battlefield is possible.

Trail. Provide a historical trail within the battlefield and parking for trail users.

Roads. Provide a road from the proposed U.S. 95 past the interpretive building to old U.S. 95.

Picnicking Provide a small picnic area primarily for use by school groups.

Land Map—White Bird Battlefield. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

Canoe Camp

Parking. Provide parking area adjacent to U.S. 95.

Interpretation. Provide an unmanned interpretive device.

Other Sites

Interpretive Markers. Provide interpretive markers with the consent of the owners.

Parking. Encourage owners to provide parking for effective interpretation of the sites.


First Phase

Acquire fee ownership and scenic easement at all sites planned for Service control with emphasis on the Spalding site. Maintain continual awareness of what the State of Idaho can purchase as scenic easement and if research discovers any historical resource which would change the proposed boundaries. Enter into cooperative agreements with the owners of all other sites for permission to interpret their sites. Initiate research to provide information for location and interpretation of the historical resources.

Second Phase

Provide interpretive devices at all sites, with emphasis on the Spalding site. The interpretation, information and administrative building and associated roads and utilities at Spalding are to be developed after the on-site interpretation of the site is constructed. Development of East Kamiah and White Bird Battlefield is to follow as soon as land has been acquired. Most interpretive devices and trails are to be constructed prior to or concurrently with the buildings, roads, and utilities. Interpretive and administrative personnel are to be provided as the need and facilities are established.

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Last Updated: 10-May-2007