Pictured Rocks
An Administrative History
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It was on a cloudless, crisp fall morning that Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore received its first superintendent. It was October 1967, Hugh P. Beattie and his family had driven up from the Sanford Recreation Area, leaving the hot autumn air of the Texas panhandle. The chilled atmosphere of northern Michigan and the collage of colors in the hardwood forest were a welcome relief. As the car swept down Highway M-28's steep descent into town the dark, blue waters of Munising Bay lay spread out before them. "Maybe this is really going to be something," Beattie said to himself. [119]

Hugh Beattie played a major role in making Pictured Rocks the type of park it would become. The vision of the area that first began to take shape in Beattie's imagination that October morning would join with the original concept of the national lakeshores embodied in Allen Edmunds' Great Lakes Shoreline Survey and the more modest concept outlined in the congressional enabling legislation and the fiscal constraints of a greatly altered political landscape to make Picture Rocks a wild sanctuary, not a major tourist attraction.

In equal measures, the forces of personality, bureaucratic policy, and politics combined to effect a major shift in the management of the Pictured Rocks. This shift was less the result of conscious design than historical contingency. Nonetheless, the individual decisions made between 1967 and 1969 were decisive in determining the character of America's first national lakeshore.

Beattie Takes Charge

Hugh Beattie was the choice of Allen T. Edmunds, head of the newly created Great Lakes Area Field Office in Lansing, Michigan, to be the Pictured Rocks superintendent. It was a hectic time for the National Park Service's Northeast Region. New parks in the Great Lakes were being created at a rapid rate. Pictured Rocks was followed in rapid succession by Indiana Dunes National lakeshore and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Two northern Wisconsin parks, Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, were in the legislative hopper. Beattie was selected from a list of eligible personnel. Although he had not previously served as a superintendent, Beattie's resume boasted water recreation experience, new area development experience, and administrative background gained in stints as an acting superintendent. He was a thirty-nine-year-old graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, with service experience at Yellowstone, Olympic, Coulee Dam, and White Sands. He would prove to be a shrewd and determined administrator, demanding of subordinates, and an effective liaison to the community.

The first task for Beattie was to see the park. Allen Edmunds came up from Lansing and together they toured the area by car and plane. Edmunds was an unabashed booster of the Pictured Rocks. "The area continues to be one of great pleasure to work in," he confided in August 1967. "The individual property owners, corporations, officials of towns and counties are most cooperative and helpful. The area itself has such great natural features and potential that all efforts are most rewarding." Beattie immediately responded to Edmunds' enthusiasm for the project and the beauties of the area. "I was sold," he later recalled, "it was just a beautiful, vest-pocket wilderness." [120]

Edmunds was relieved to finally have a superintendent on site in Munising. As head of the Great Lakes Area Field Office he had tried to ensure a smooth beginning to the Pictured Rocks project while also overseeing Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore created in 1966 and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore created in 1967 as well as the service's other initiatives in the region. Under Edmunds' direction, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission was appointed, an aerial survey of the lakeshore was executed, the Master Plan study was begun, and the land acquisition program was initiated. In July 1967, Governor George Romney of Michigan approved the transfer of state land to the National Park Service. The Park Service needed staff on site to prepare for the job of actually managing a new unit. [121]

The first official park headquarters was a set of rooms on the second floor of the First Bank Building in the Munising business district. Beattie and his chief ranger, Norman Davidson, shared this space with Brooks Hamilton and the Land Acquisition Office. The first weeks of park administration were spent in a hectic and sometimes frustrating attempt to locate housing, prepare a viable office space, and order vehicles and equipment through the General Services Administration.

What was not apparent in this busy, optimistic beginning for the lakeshore was the clash between the National Park Service's bold, grand plans for the Pictured Rocks and the looming crisis in the federal budget. The same year that Lyndon Johnson signed the Pictured Rocks organic legislation marked the rapid escalation of American troop commitments in the Republic of South Vietnam. "We are a rich nation," the President told Congress in his 1966 budget message, ''and can afford to make progress at home while meeting obligations abroad. For this reason, l have not halted progress in the new and vital Great Society programs in order to finance the costs of our efforts in Southeast Asia." But Johnson seriously underestimated the expense of the war in Vietnam and failed to anticipate the inflationary impact of increased federal expenditures on the cost of his domestic initiatives. By March 1967, the gap between the administration's rhetoric and its financial resources was becoming apparent and a wide range of domestic programs were scaled back. [122]

Pictured Rocks, which was slated to receive $81,500 to put a four-person management team in place by July 1967, and $28,100 for three maintenance staff, was cut to the hiring of a superintendent and chief ranger, with no support staff. Even this bare-bones allocation came only after considerable lobbying by Allen Edmunds. Fortunately, the Land and Water Conservation Fund was tapped to provide the Park Service with $800,000 for land acquisition. This belt-tightening seemed temporary in 1967. But the growing war in Vietnam, inflation, and the demands of an expanded entitlement program all worked to curtail the resources available to Michigan's newest national park. [123]

In Munising, planning continued to go forward on a grand scale. On January 24, 1968, the Michigan State Extension Service and the Park Service organized a special day-long seminar on how to develop an inter-agency response to the coming flood of tourists. The representative of the Michigan Department of Conservation predicted the lakeshore would "draw an untold number of people here. This will require a lot of planning!" The need for a county-wide master plan was recognized. Superintendent Beattie chaired a steering committee to begin such a process. He held out the vision of "developing this into one of the major recreation areas in the country." He made a very good impression on the leaders of Alger County by avoiding what he called "the professional big-brother telling the grass roots what they needed." This cooperation led to the early adoption of zoning ordinances for the park fringe by Burt Township and the City of Munising. The new emphasis in all of this planning for Alger County, which had lost significant population in the last two censuses, was not planning for growth but trying to control the surge of growth which would inevitably wash over Alger County. "The real concern," the Munising News noted, "is with preventing 'honky-tonk' establishments and other types of undesirable developments from occurring in the area around the lakeshore boundaries..." [124]

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission and the Northeast Region Master Plan team also embraced the maxim "make no little plans." The commission held its first meeting in Washington, D.C., in February 1968. The five-man commission was made up of John P. Farrell, chairman, a geographer at Northern Michigan University; Glenn C. Gregg of the Michigan Department of Conservation; David C. West of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company; Leo R. Gariepy, former mayor of Munising; and Vino Nixon of Grand Marais. The commission's job was to give advice and make recommendations on lakeshore development and land acquisition. Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall and Senator Philip A. Hart presided of the initial meeting. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to a preview of the Picture Rocks Master Plan. [125]

Carl Shriver, captain of the Master Plan team, presented the preliminary document. It called for development to accommodate 80,000 visitors per day. Shriver was quick to caution that this was a maximum estimate and that in the first year of full operation the lakeshore would only attract 1 million visitors, although after ten years that figure would rise to 1.5 million annual visitors. The draft plan called for 1, 270 campsites and over 700 picnic sites; a hard surface road running just behind the cliffs providing vehicle access to the Mosquito Falls and Chapel Rock areas; bathhouses and facilities for 2,000 swimmers as well as launching ramps and boat rental facilities for 760 boaters. Only 5,120 acres of the shoreline zone were to be classified as "primitive" and slated for no development activity. Shriver ad his team were unapologetic about the intensive development called for in the plan: "This is a recreation area by law and it is intended that it will provide a variety of facilities and services to enable people to fully enjoy the area." That hundreds of thousands of visitors would flock to the Pictured Rocks was accepted as a given. "They will come to the Pictured Rocks," the Master Plan predicted, "because it is a major national recreation area and because it has scenic features that all other areas do not have." [126]

Land Acquisition

It was in an atmosphere of optimism and expectation that the land acquisition program for Pictured Rocks began. Heading the effort was Brooks Hamilton, a veteran land buyer, with considerable enthusiasm for the recreation prospects of the lakeshore. Hamilton was, in the words of one former colleague, "the epitome of the old-fashioned gentlemen." He had a folksy, friendly personality which he hid behind delicate, round wire-rimmed spectacles and an immaculately groomed suit and tie. Just before coming to Pictured Rocks, he had pulled-off a major land acquisition coup at the Indiana Dunes by purchasing a crucial tract of land from under the nose of a railroad company determined to extend its marshalling yards into the dunes park. Behind Hamilton's gentle, country demeanor was a sharp real estate man. [127]

Since the arrival of Beattie at Pictured Rocks, he, Hamilton, and Edmunds had worked closely planning the strategy for the lands program. While purchases could not be made until the Master Plan was in place, it was possible to establish the priority of the purchases and begin the property appraisals. The decision was made to put a priority on the Munising end of the lakeshore, then undertake purchases in the Grand Marais area before finally moving to fill in the area in between. A color-coded map of the lakeshore highlighting the proposed sequence of acquisition was reviewed by the Northeast Regional Office and even by Assistant Director Edward A. Hummel in the Washington office. The Pictured Rocks Advisory Commission was also apprised of the priorities. This broad consultation in establishing the sequence of land acquisition gave the impression that the entire program for the lakeshore flowed from a broad-based consensus. [128]

In reality, the vital decisions of the program were worked out between Brooks Hamilton and Hugh Beattie in Munising. Beattie set a priority on establishing direct Park Service control over as much of the lakeshore as soon as possible. He and Hamilton agreed to manage the acquisition program so that private landowners were quickly moved out of the shoreline zone. The backing Hamilton received from the Washington Office during the controversy over the marshalling yards at Indiana Dunes convinced Beattie that "the time was right for a proactive land acquisition policy." Beattie felt that both resource management and community relations suffered in the long run when significant inholdings were allowed within park boundaries. He later referred to this approach as "checkerboard-mishmashed land acquisition." Beattie promised to give Hamilton a free hand in land acquisition, in return for the lands officer’s commitment to fee purchase. "I won't buy any land," Beattie said, "but I don't want you managing any land or making any commitments that were are going to have to live with down the road." [129]

The way to achieve immediate direct Park Service control over a new area was to push strictly for fee simple acquisition. This strategy, of course, was contrary to the way the land acquisition phase had been portrayed by Senator Hart or Allen Edmunds during the legislative process. At that time, park planners constantly held out the option of twenty-five-year leases to owners of improved property. As late as June 1968, Edmunds, who was the principal National Park Service spokesman in the Great Lakes area, soothed public concerns about the park by promising "all reasonableness" in negotiating with property owners and offering the prospect of long-term leases. But Edmunds was not privy to the significant policy decision Beattie and Hamilton had made that spring. Acting on the assumption that "some things are better done than discussed," the Pictured Rocks superintendent did not even discuss the matter with the regional office. [130]

Beattie and Hamilton based their "proactive acquisition" program on a careful reading of the enabling legislation. Public Law 89-668, which created the lakeshore, clearly stated that: "Any owner or owners of improved property on the date of its acquisition by the Secretary may, as a condition to such acquisition, retain, for a term not to exceed twenty five years the right of use and occupancy" Yet that section of the bill also contained an ambiguous claus which limited such rights to those properties which do "not impair the usefulness and attractiveness of the area designated for inclusion." Beattie decided to apply this clause to any properties at or adjacent to areas of public use. The Master Plan called for the intensive development of public use areas at scenic sites such as waterfalls and along Lake Superior and the inland lakes. Like everywhere else in the North Country, watetfront property in the Pictured Rocks area was the site of most private development. Park officials could be technically correct, yet quite misleading, therefore, when they announced they would offer long-term leases to home-owners or cottagers within the shoreline zone, if their property was not earmarked for public use, because virtually all such sites could be potentially defined as conflicting with the public's use.

Beattie's policy went unnoticed until complaints from property owners reached the Regional Office. William W. Redmond, the Regional Solicitor, was called in to give an opinion of Beattie's interpretation of the act. Redmond undertook a hasty review of the legislative history and determined that owners of improved properties had the right to twenty-five-year lease. Beattie felt Redmond's ruling made it an "utter impossibility" to achieve a "viable and workable park unit." He refused to accept an interpretation which was "to the overall detriment of our program and of the interests of the great majority of the American public." He asked Hamilton to suspend negotiations on all improved tracts while Beattie lobbied Associate Regional Director Edmunds to get the ruling reversed. Redmond, however, saw nothing legally wrong with his initial opinion. But rather than get in the way of a determined management team, he did agree to withdraw his memorandum. Land acquisition went forward as before, although the Pictured Rocks program was always at risk that a condemnation proceeding might lead the Justice Department to rule in favor of more long-term leases. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission fully supported Beattie's disinclination to allow twenty-five-year leases. [131]

The legacy of Superintendent Beattie's "proactive" approach to land acquisition was a tremendous asset to the long-term resource management of the Pictured Rocks. From a very early stage of its development, the Park Service had control of the shoreline zone. The long drawn-out acquisition history of Sleeping Bear Dunes was avoided as were the unsightly private dwellings that continue to detract from Isle Royale a half century after the park was created. Yet a reservoir of ill-will also was a legacy of the rapid displacement of property owners from the shoreline zone. This was particularly the case in the Grand Sable Lake area. A string of cottages and private homes along the lake were reluctantly sold. The threat of condemnation and the promise of extensive public development of the area by the Park Service prodded the residents out. Yet, after the properties were demolished, little in the way of public development took place at the Grand Sable Lake. Home owners who originally felt they had received a fair price for their lands then felt cheated because their continued use of the property under a lease would not have conflicted with public development. Of course, Superintendent Beattie, when he ordered an aggressive acquisition program, did not know that development plans for the lakeshore would undergo a drastic reformation. [132]

Actual land purchases began in May 1968. Eventually condemnation proceedings had to be initiated on forty-eight properties, although most of these were settled via negotiations before final disposition by the U.S. District Court. The majority of these tracts were beach-front lands. Typical were the property owners along Miners Beach who objected to the government-appraised price of $35 per foot. The cottagers argued that Lake Superior frontage was worth something closer to $40 to $100 per foot and that they were entitled to twenty-five-year leases. Hamilton initiated condemnation proceedings. The property owners hired a Grand Rapids attorney. But before the case went to U.S. District Court a negotiated settlement was reached. [133]

There was remarkably little in the way of public outcry over the land acquisition program. The communities of Munising and Grand Marais were so strongly behind the project that even many people displaced by the lakeshore felt that they were making a sacrifice that was clearly in the general good. The fact that the number of improved properties within the shoreline zone was not very large also insured that an organized opposition did not develop. [134]

The acquisition of the Munising Falls site, however, was a particularly tortuous transaction. The nineteen acres surrounding the splendid falls were among the most scenic on the western side of the lakeshore. The site was owned for many years by the Kolbus family. During the mid-1950s, Joseph and Phyllis Kolbus began to improve the properly as a tourist site. Trails and walkways were added to give access to the falls. Later, a curio shop was added. The sale of souvenirs, refreshments and admission to the falls became an important second income for the family. During the legislative process the family lobbied unsuccessfully against the inclusion of the falls within the park boundary. Brooks Hamilton's initial offer for the site did not include any consideration of the special values of the falls and gorge and was rightly rejected. For the next two years Hamilton and the owners frequently but unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a sale. Mr. and Mrs. Kolbus felt that the site was worth at least $250,000 while Hamilton would "ego no higher than $95,000. The Munising City Commission, State Representative Dominic Jacobetti, and congressional representatives intervened to try to help them receive "adequate compensation." Congressman Ruppe embarrassed Director Hartzog with questions about the case during hearings for Voyageurs National Park. Finally, Richard Stanton, Chief of the Office of Land Acquisition, was dispatched to Munising for one final negotiation before beginning condemnation proceedings. Financial as well as health reasons made the Kolbus family reluctant to pursue legal action. In return for the right to operate the falls as a concession for two years, Kolbus sold the tract for a modest increase over the governments appraised value. [135]

The only outstanding example of popular agitation caused by the land acquisition program was in Grand Marais. As Hamilton began to make land purchases, owners of 240 acres in the Grand Marais area were surprised to find that their homes were within the eastern boundary of the national lakeshore. Richard Berndt, chair of the Burt township board, called a public meeting on the subject on August 21, 1968. Philip E. Ruppe, the district's Republican Congressman, Allen Edmunds from the Great Lakes Area Field Office, and Superintendent Beattie were in attendance. About twenty property owners complained that they did not know their land was included in the park. In addition, there were some owners who complained that they were under the impression they would be able to live on their land for twenty five years. Considerable bitterness boiled to the surface as Allen Edmunds tried to explain the acquisition process. "We don't get a straight answer!" one complained, while another shouted, "They pass the buck." Some of the audience felt Superintendent Beattie tried to bully simple backwoods farmers into backing down. But even Congressman Ruppe expressed his pessimism about effecting a boundary change for such a recently created park, especially since the boundary was unaltered in legislative proposals since 1963 and the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce had been the biggest supporter of the lakeshore at each of the public hearings on the bill. The boundary went unchanged and the affected owners sold their holding to Brooks Hamilton and his staff. The area involved in this dispute included the farm of Armas Abrahamson which today is the site of the Grand Sable Visitor Center. [136]

More in keeping with the cordial community relations between the Park Service and local government was the transfer of Sand Point to the lakeshore. Unlike Grand Marais, the City of Munising had very carefully followed the exact boundaries of the proposed park and in the summer of 1966, just as the bill was approaching final disposition, the city negotiated a number of minor amendments to the boundary. These deletions removed two small tracts from the Sand Point portion of the town. The remaining portion of Sand Point within the lakeshore boundary was transferred to the National Park Service in June 1968. There was a bit of last minute horse-trading in which Superintendent Beattie and Munising City Commissioner Robert Morrison engineered a complex four-way land swap. The Park Service agreed to help the city get permission for a new landfill on Forest Service land. Kimberly-Clark Paper Company, a major employer in Munising, agreed to foot forty percent of the bill for the landfill in exchange for a piece of city land needed to expand their plant parking lot. Kimberly Clark also gave a piece of lakeshore land to the city and footed the cost to build a ball field. This last provision persuaded several city commissioners who had reservations about immediately letting Sand Point go because the swap was too good a deal to pass up. [137]

The former U.S. Coast Guard station located at the site was rehabilitated as a "temporary" lakeshore headquarters complex. In September 1968, Superintendent Beattie moved his small staff out to Sand Point, bidding a not very fond farewell to the second floor of the First National Bank Building. [138] The new headquarters complex called for in the master Plan remained elusive. As of this writing the lakeshore remains housed in what was seen as a "temporary" arrangement.

Alger County and Burt Township were much less obliging then the City of Munising. Federal policy forbade the purchase of publicly held lands for national park projects. After both governmental bodies initially pledged to turn over their lands within the park, they tried to negotiate for in-kind compensation. Alger County's holdings included the Miners Castle area, perhaps the most popular scenic attraction in the lakeshore; while Burt Township's holdings embraced the north shore of Grand Sable Lake. Burt Township drew concession income from the Grand Sable Lake property and in place of its loss the Township Supervisor let it be known that they would hold on their park lands as "trading stock." Eventually Burt Township pressed the National Park Service to support a boundary change which would allow the town to grow along the lakeshore's northeast border. Alger County refused to turn over Miners Castle and the road right-of-way at Grand Sable Dunes unless the lakeshore granted them gravel mining rights within the buffer zone. Eventually, Superintendent Beattie, with the help of the Land Acquisition staff, a willingness to compromise on issues such as the gravel pit, and the threat of holding back federal funds, worked out a solution to the problem. [139]

Although in 1967 Governor Romney of Michigan signed an order giving the state's shoreline zone lands to the Department of the Interior, the actual transfer of title to the National Park Service took almost three years of negotiation. In spite of the goodwill of the state's Department of Conservation, the transfer was held up by a little-known Michigan law which required that in such land transactions the state retained the right of reverter. In other words the donation would be conditional on the continued use of the land by the federal government for the purpose of operating a Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Certainly the Park Service had no other purpose in mind, but the Attorney General's guidelines on land title required that the federal government have unreserved title to all lands upon which permanent improvements were to be made. The 5,097 acres of Michigan land in the lakeshore were scattered throughout the park, including in several of the zones of intensive recreational development. For a time, it looked like the lakeshore would require new legislation from the State of Michigan to complete the transfer. Lemuel Garrison, the Northeast Regional Director, recommended a way around the Justice Department by negotiating a clause in the transfer in which the right of reverter was cancelled if the federal government undertook improvements on the land within a specific period of time after the transaction. Eventually, George Hartzog intervened and approved accepting the state lands with Michigan's reverter clause. [140]

U.S.D.A. Forest Service lands within the shoreline zone only totaled 465 acres. The transfer to Park Service control was negotiated by Brooks Hamilton in July 1970. [141]

Corporate land purchases were the most complex aspect of the land acquisition program. During the legislative process, the Park Service began a series of special negotiations with two of the largest corporate land owners, the Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline Company and the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. Only after years of effort was the agency able to take title to their holdings within the shoreline zone.

The Wisconsin-Michigan Pipeline Company owned nearly 2,000 acres of prime wild lands in the Beaver Basin. The tract was assembled in 1958 as a corporate employees' retreat. Over the years it was a popular summer and fall vacation site for the firm's top echelon executives. R.T. McElvenny, corporate president, was deeply interested in outdoor sports and wildlife management. Under his direction feeding stations for deer and bear and ponds for waterfowl, trout, and beaver were created. The core of the corporate retreat was a camp composed of cottages, a boat house, and service buildings located on the south shore of Beaver Lake. In July 1966, when it appeared likely that a lakeshore would be created at Pictured Rocks, the company approached the Park Service with a plan to retain limited use of their retreat. The company offered to sell their 660 acres north of Beaver Lake in exchange for the right to use the area along the south shore of the lake. In July 1967, it was agreed to buy the northern lands for $285,000 but to let the company occupy their camp for up to twenty five years, provided that at the end of that time the lands be donated to the lakeshore. However, by 1974 the company found the continued operation of the camp a burden and agreed to sell their entire holdings to the National Park Service. [142]

Cleveland-Cliffs agreed to sell their extensive holdings in the shoreline zone before the park was created. Agreeing to a proper price and transferring title turned out to be the major problem of the land acquisition program. Mineral rights were the source of the difficulty. The bulk of the company lands within the lakeshore were appraised as forest lands. The company, however, wanted to be sure it was not losing potentially valuable mineral deposits in such a transaction. Negotiations were suspended late in 1968 so that the company could complete test drilling for silica just east of San Point Cleveland-Cliffs had known of the deposits since the 1930s but had never bothered to assess their potential commercial value. The company had known since 1966 that the government was going to be buying the lakeshore lands. By waiting until they were contacted by agency lands officers to test for resources, Cleveland-Cliffs delayed the sale for a full year. For its part, the National Park Service contracted with Kiril Spiroff, a highly respected geologist from Northern Michigan University, to survey the entire shoreline zone for possible mineral values. His report concluded that the "mineral rights to these lands have very little if any value." [143]

Spiroff’s report was only a partial solution. It established that the lands would be appraised as forest lands not mineral lands. But even Spiroff’s formidable reputation in determining mineral values could not persuade Cleveland-Cliffs to part with the subsurface rights to possible deep mineral deposits. On December 5, 1969, corporate and agency officials met in Philadelphia to break the deadlock. R.G. Fountain made clear Cleveland-Cliffs would fight to retain subsurface rights even though their value was at best "hypothetical." As a matter of mining company policy, Cleveland-Cliffs executives did not want to go to their shareholders and say they had given away mineral rights. Privately they warned the National Park Service that if the government pressed for these rights they would bring in the best geologists in the world to prove that the subsurface rights might have value and then make the Park Service pay them for every penny of that value. As a compromise, the Park Service agreed to negotiate a side agreement in which the company could retain their subsurface rights in return for no mining activity within the shoreline zone and only limited mining activity within the buffer zone. [144]

The principal losers in the Cleveland-Cliffs negotiations were the small land owners within the lakeshore. Most of these owners had originally purchased their land from Cleveland-Cliffs, which even then insisted on retaining the mineral rights to the properly. Many of these owners had negotiated options to sell their land to the Park Service. They expected to receive their payment imminently. Instead they were forced to wait as much as two years while the government tried to work out a solution to the mineral rights issue. Some of these people were forced into personal or financial hardship as they waited for their payment and tried to maintain their property until the option was closed. [145]

Beginning To Manage The Lakeshore

"It is an anachronism, surely, that the Act making the long-famed Pictured Rocks of Lake Superior part of the National Park System should have been passed ninety-four years after Yellowstone [was made the first national park],'' said Assistant Secretary of the Interior Nathaniel Reed. As the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremonies for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Reed sounded an optimistic note, stressing the many obstacles surmounted to create a national park in the mid-twentieth century. Outside the weather was biting cold, the original ceremony at Bayshore Park had to be rescheduled for Mather High School, but for the politicians and 350 citizens packed into the auditorium the atmosphere was warmly enthusiastic. After speeches by Reed, Chester Brooks of the Northeast Region, and Michigan Governor William G. Milliken, the October, 1972 dedication ended with a symbolic ceremony. Sand from Grand Marais and water from Munising Bay were mixed in a giant brandy sniffer. The idea behind "the mixing of the sand and waters" was to symbolize the joining of the two towns through the creation of the lakeshore. Yet, when the pure sand and the clear waters were mixed and stirred the result was cloudy water. An inauspicious, but not altogether inappropriate indication of the disappointments, frustrations, and bitterness that would mark the early history of Pictured Rocks. [146]

By the time the dedication ceremony took place on October 6, 1972, the staff of the lakeshore were already well into the task of trying to manage the new unit. Like the first years at many new units, the early 1970s at Pictured Rocks were a period of excitement, even exploration, as the staff became acquainted with the resource and each other. But budget constraints also meant that it would be a time of making do without the means to implement a coherent plan for the lakeshore.

Among Superintendent Beattie's earliest management responsibilities were the establishment of cooperative relations with local and state agencies. Beattie and Chief Ranger Norman Davidson negotiated procedures regarding law enforcement and emergency services. Particularly celebrated by the community was the December 1969 agreement between the National Park Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources regulating relations between the state and the lakeshore. Under the terms of a "memorandum of understanding" the Park Service would have the responsibility to manage the habitat of the lakeshore, but hunting and fishing would be under state control. The lakeshore retained the power to prohibit hunting or fishing from certain high-use areas, but otherwise state licenses, bag limits, and seasons would apply. The lakeshore's enabling legislation authorized this arrangement but there had been considerable agitation among sportsmen leading up to the signing because Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall had publicly advocated that all federal lands, including the national forests, should be regulated by federal fish and game policies. But that approach was completely absent from the agreement, which included the Park Service's commitment to practice "those forms of resource management that will benefit fish and wildlife and enhance opportunities for their harvest by the public,'' a commitment that would come back to haunt the lakeshore. The lakeshore did retain the right to prevent hunting if, after consultation with the state Conservation Department, it was determined necessary for reasons of "administration, or public use and enjoyment." According to the agreement law enforcement was made a joint responsibility. [147]

On a day-to-day basis, among the biggest problems for the lakeshore was gaining control over visitor use of the lakeshore. Hundreds of old logging roads criss-crossed the area. These rough "two-tracks" provided vehicle access to many of the most remote reaches of the lakeshore. Hunters and fisherman from Alger County knew these roads from long experience. Four-wheel-drive trucks and chainsaws allowed them to use this informal network to access favorite hunting and fishing grounds. As the land acquisition program was completed and structures were either removed or demolished, the Park Service moved to close some of these roads. Much to the displeasure of local sportsmen, the maintenance staff sunk wooden posts across the entrances to the roads. What to lakeshore officials seemed a sensible way to allow disturbed areas a chance to recover was often perceived by some in the community as an overt attempt to keep sportsmen out of the lakeshore. [148]

Off-road vehicles were another problem in the early days of the lakeshore. Snowmobiles were just beginning to emerge as a popular form of winter recreation when the lakeshore was created. By 1968, the City of Munising, with a population of 4,200 people, was reputed to have 500 to 700 snowmobiles. Four years later winter rallies complete with snow races presided over by a "Snowmobile Queen" were popular. The neighboring Hiawatha National Forest offered a network of sixty-eight miles of snowmobile trails in 1968. In March of that year the Michigan Department of Conservation opened a twenty-four-mile Pictured Rocks Snowmobile Trail. The trail was located on Cleveland-Cliffs and state land. Impending acquisition by the Park Service meant that Michigan did not devote a great deal of resources to trail development. Orange flagging tape marking the route was the extent of the state's trail improvements. When the Park Service assumed management of the lands, it did nothing to maintain the trail. Superintendent Beattie was concerned with the destructive impact of snow machines on fragile wild cover during melting conditions. He also was worried about search and rescue, and other potential back country management concerns. In the end the lakeshore decided not to encourage snowmobiles but as a "legitimate recreational activity" the machines could not be totally banned either. Like at most other national parks the snow machines were allowed on unplowed roads. In contrast to the lakeshore's cool response to the noisy snowmobiles, District Ranger Fred Young laid out special trails for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. [149]

A more serious, if more transitory, problem for the lakeshore were motorcycles and "dune buggies." Dune buggies were stripped-down light automobiles with oversized tires. The phenomenon of constructing special automobiles for riding up and down sand hills began on the seashores in the early 1960s. Dune buggies were the first wave of what would later become an invasion of the backcountry by off-road vehicles. Initially, the novelty of dune buggies obscured the potential danger posed by their widespread use. A concessionaire to Sable Dunes State Park actually offered several vehicles for rental use on the dunes. By the time the lakeshore was created state regulations stipulated that motor-driven vehicles (except for snowmobiles) were prohibited from operating on state lands, save on roads and parking lots. The closing of many of the favorite dune buggy haunts in lower Michigan, however, coincided with the discovery of the Grand Sable Dunes by dune buggies and motorcyclists. The legal "twilight-zone'' of the dunes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, granted by the state legislature to the National Park Service but with the transfer unconsummated, and the inadequate staffing of the lakeshore, created a considerable law enforcement problem. By July 1969, organized groups from lower Michigan were tearing up and down the dunes in multivehicle "caravans." [150]

Superintendent Beattie urged Brooks Hamilton to push for an early acceptance of the state lands "in order that we may end this rapacious treatment of a prime natural resource." Besides being an obvious danger to any hikers on the dunes, the off-road vehicles were playing havoc with the tenuous vegetation patterns on the sand hills. In going from one sandy area to another the dune buggies crushed grass, shrubs, and small trees under their wheels. Habitats for coyotes, bobcat, foxes, and deer were destroyed. Snowmobiles operating on the dunes in winter had the same negative impact. Unfortunately, the state had no staff detailed to monitor the dunes, while Pictured Rocks had only one regular ranger, Norman Davidson. Even during the summer when Davidson was aided by two seasonals, it was possible to patrol the dunes with only a moderate degree of effectiveness. In August 1970, the Pictured Rocks Advisory Commission voted to request the assistance of Grand Marais law enforcement officials to keep buggies off the dunes. Burt Township Supervisor, John Boland, shot back that they hardly had the means to do so when they were trying to adjust to the loss of $56,000 in taxes from lands now in the lakeshore. In fact, banning snowmobiles and dune buggies on the dunes hurt the fragile economy of Grand Marais, and was hardly a universally popular decision. In the end, Ranger Davidson and the seasonal staff did what they could emphasizing "education" more than active law enforcement to bring the problem gradually under control. [151]

Cultural resource management at the lakeshore began with an archeological survey in the summer of 1967. The Philadelphia Service Center contracted with the University of Michigan for what would be best termed a reconnaissance level survey. The two-man study team was sent to the park to gauge a rough estimate of the area's archeological potential for the master plan. Although the team was unable to verify several previously documented sites at Sands Point and Grand Sable Dunes, they did locate a small lithic scatter and evidence of an Indian encampment at the mouth of Miners River. The surveyors were also able to provide tangible documentation for remains of the old Schoolcraft Ironworks in the vicinity of the Munising Falls and log slide near Au Sable Point. "The archeological potential of the Pictured Rocks National lakeshore area," the report concluded, "has to be termed very poor." This conclusion in part reflected the thick vegetation and poor ground surface visibility within the lakeshore which frustrated the archeologists. While Pictured Rocks would never be a major archeological park, further studies in the 1980s would offer more tangible evidence of the lakeshore's prehistoric past. [152]

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 created a Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer with the task to prepare a federally funded state-wide historic preservation plan. This law led to the recommendation in 1970 that the town at Grand Marais be made into a historical district on the National Register of Historic Places. Consideration of this proposal briefly awakened interest in Pictured Rocks' historic sites. The lakeshore Master Plan identified the Au Sable Lighthouse as a potential site for preservation and interpretation. In 1970, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission urged the agency to study developing the complex as a historic site. But no agency action was taken until 1977. [153]

The lighthouse was projected to play a prominent role in the preliminary lakeshore interpretation program. Interpretive planning began at Pictured Rocks in August 1968 when Regional Naturalist Earl W. Estes made an initial visit to the new park. This orientation trip led to the creation of an interpretive planning team composed of lakeshore, regional office, and Harpers Ferry Center staff. George Robinson of the Harpers Ferry Center played the lead role in drafting the interpretive prospectus. Approved in April 1970, the plan is a curious blend of Earth Day era language and Mission 66 era development concepts. After an introductory section highlighting the difference between the Indian's sense of harmony with nature and the white's view of wilderness as a barrier, the plan proceeds to advocate intensive development. Typical of this disjointed approach was the plan to install audio listening posts along Twelve Mile Beach so that visitors could tune-in and listen to Sigurd Olson muse about the values of wilderness. At campgrounds planned for Miners Basin, Beaver Basin and Grand Sable Lake, the plan called for the construction of amphitheaters complete with rear screen projectors. The Grand Sable amphitheaters alone would seat 1,000 visitors. Other visionary features included an underwater snorkel trail along the shore of Beaver Lake, the establishment of a snowmobile rental concession in the park, and the use of the rangers to lead winter "snowmobile safaris." [154]

Everything in the plan was on a grand scale. At Au Sable Point, for example, the plan called for the restoration of the structures and interiors to an historic appearance. The restored structures would then be interpreted by a seasonal interpreter and family, all in period dress. To interpret Beaver Basin as an "ecological area," the plan called for a motor trail through the swampy areas. [155]

The addition of Interpretive Specialist Robert Rothe to the lakeshore in 1972 ensured that interpretation would not be completely overshadowed during the internal competition for scarce resources. Beattie referred to Rothe as "a shot in the arm" to the staff because of the "initiative, energy and enthusiasm" he brought to the job. In February 1972, the lakeshore began its affiliation with the Eastern National Park and Monument Association. Rothe was also able to begin interpretation at Munising Falls of the blast furnace remains and of the log slide near Au Sable Point. [156]

One of the most important of the early resource studies undertaken at Pictured Rocks was a preliminary survey of the area's environmental quality. Contracted to Limnetics, Inc., a subsidiary of the Milwaukee-based environmental consulting firm Ecotonics, Inc., the project undertook to sample and analyze water and bottom sediment from the principal inland lakes and streams. The study looked for arsenic, mercury, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals in the water and vegetation of the lakeshore. The 1970 report of the project confirmed the pristine quality of the area but offered a caution as well. Because of the shallow nature and slow draining quality of many of the inland lakes, they were not conducive to intensive development without suffering a decline in water quality. The most significant result of the Limnetics, Inc. study was to provide a statistical baseline from which to measure the impact of further development, both within and outside of the lakeshore. [157]

A significant resource management failure during this period was the removal of the Becker Barn in 1975. The local landmark was a fourteen sided barn built in 1912 by Daniel Becker on his dairy farm west of Sand Point. Built of concrete blocks and pine lumber, the structure had deteriorated considerably by the time the lakeshore acquired the property. Daniel Becker's role as a provider of dairy products to Munising residents between 1912 and 1960 assured the site of at least local historical significance. The lakeshore did nothing to either assess the integrity of the structure or stabilize its deterioration. To local residents the removal of the building as a safety hazard was proof of the Park Service’s inability to carry out its plans for development and resource management. [158]

What was not happening at Pictured Rocks during the early 1970s was as significant as what was occurring. The most important thing which was not happening was development of visitor facilities. Even six years after the passage of the enabling legislation, there was little in the way of improvement at the principal visitor contact points. The sad situation at Miners Falls and Miners Castle is a case in point.

Alger County initially held back turning Miners Castle over to the lakeshore, in part, because it wanted assurance that the agency was ready to go ahead with development plans. As a result, in 1972, one of the most beautiful places in the Great Lakes region was still an undermanaged site, deteriorating from unregulated visitor use and a threat to the safety of those same tourists. "Cars could drive up almost all the way to the edge of the cliff," Ranger Fred Young recalled. "The area in front of Miners was a combination parking lot-campground-picnic area with a little hut selling hot dogs." With no interpretive platforms in place, visitors were allowed to scramble over the sandstone formations. This increased the erosion of the cliffs and was a major safety problem. In June 1968, an eleven-year-old boy was stranded on a ledge 100 feet above Lake Superior after he strayed from his parents. Only quick work by the bystanders and the state police saved his life. A week before fellow tourists were reputed to have saved another youth after he slipped fifteen feet to the edge of the cliff. [159]

Once Miners Castle was turned over to the agency in 1972, Superintendent Beattie repeatedly requested immediate funding for safety rehabilitation at the site. Even the death of a thirty-six-year-old man and six-year-old daughter in October of that year failed to shake loose funding. Although death was a result of drowning and not related to the safety problems on the cliff, it certainly was a reminder of the importance of managing recreation areas. By the spring of 1973, the lakeshore was finally getting a new parking lot and toilets in place at Miners Castle. Unfortunately, the funds for safety work were still being held back. In frustration, Beattie threatened to close visitor access to Miners Castle just as the new facilities were being completed. "We will have shot our entire limited construction budget on a meaningless project," the superintendent fumed." [160]

The lakeshore was able to move with only slightly more dispatch to improve the tawdry impression generated by commercial development at Miners Falls. The falls themselves were on state land, but access from the road to the falls required running the gauntlet of a pitiful wild animal zoo and paying a twenty five-cent fee to reach the falls "It was a typical Appalachian road-side zoo, just an awful mess," recalled one visitor. In wire mesh pens the proprietors kept deer, bear, buffalos, even a llama. After the creation of the park in 1966, the Park Service regularly received complaints about the zoo. But until the land could be acquired the most that Beattie and his staff could do is insist local officials acted on complaints about the sanitary condition of the zoo. By 1972, commercial development was removed from the site. [161]

Management of the Inland Buffer Zone was another issue where agency inaction was more significant than initiative in the early years. In July 1968, Superintendent Beattie was informed that Lawrence Boucher of Munising had begun construction on a single family house off the Carmody Road, within the lakeshore's inland buffer zone. Section nine of the enabling legislation had created an "inland buffer zone in order to stabilize and protect the existing character and uses of the land, waters...." Section ten of the act prohibited the use of condemnation for any properties built before December 31, 1964. Beattie correctly interpreted the intent of Congress was to freeze development within the buffer zone at the 1964 level. He notified Boucher by certified mail that his construction was in violation of the act. Later Chief Ranger Norman Davidson visited the construction site and personally informed Boucher that he must cease construction or risk condemnation by the federal government. Boucher, however, was not easily deterred--no one was going to stop him from building a house on his own land. As Boucher began to raise the walls on the structure, Beattie consulted with the region on what action he could take. [162]

William W. Redmond, the Northeast Region solicitor, did not offer Superintendent Beattie an impressive array of weapons with which to defend the integrity of the buffer zone. There was no way to force Boucher to halt his construction. The only option was to initiate a formal "Declaration of Taking" in United States District Court, a lengthy process at best. Redmond warned Beattie that Boucher might be aware that "the Government will probably not have the necessary appropriations to acquire the property for some time." He also warned that to many observers it "might seem unfair that the Government should try to limit or restrict his [Boucher's] use of property on which he pays taxes and yet have no immediate intent or the wherewithal to actually acquire it." In other words, the buffer zone was a sanctuary protected by a paper tiger. It was created in careful consultation with the large corporate landowners in the area, but with little thought of how it would impact the roughly 5,000 acres owned by private citizens like Lawrence Boucher. [163]

After the Boucher case, Superintendent Beattie dutifully sent a certified letter of warning to every (and there were many) violator of the construction ban stating they risked having their property seized by the Department of the Interior. But he did not expect to be able to actually deter private development, "our Park Service naivete of how this might work was well soiled." Beattie did work with Alger and Munising officials to draft zoning safeguards for the Buffer Zone. He also planned an ambitious program of photographing and periodically monitoring every private tract in the buffer, although this effort was quickly undercut by severe personal shortages at the lakeshore. In the end it was the large amount of corporate land in the buffer zone, not condemnation power, which provided a protective cordon for the lakeshore. [164] Hugh Beattie's early disillusionment with the Inland Buffer Zone reenforced his natural inclination to protect the shoreline zone aggressively from development.

Goodbye To Grand Designs

''Because of the pressures of Vietnam," Congressman Philip E. Ruppe observed, "the budget is so tight that no money is available for Pictured Rocks National Park for the coming year." The freshman representative for northern Michigan announced the National Park Service's cut of $83,000 in initial development funds in March 1967. Within the service, Allen Edmunds had unsuccessfully fought to protect the lakeshore, although he did get Director George Hartzog's assurance of Pictured Rocks funds for fiscal year 1968. Nonetheless, only five months after the lakeshore was created its development schedule was delayed. Further cuts in FY 1968 and 1969 would leave development of the original vision of the lakeshore permanently derailed. [165]

Hindsight lends a surrealistic perspective on the development of Pictured Rocks during the late 1960s. The newly completed master plan called for intensive recreational development. It called for improvements which would have likely doubled the estimated total development costs of the lakeshore. Yet at the same time the Regional Office reduced the basic functions of the lakeshore, its staff and maintenance budgets to minimal levels. Whereas the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Preliminary Land Use and Development Plan (1964) called for the unit to have a staff of six the first year and a staff of thirteen in the second, Beattie was supported by only two staff in 1968 and three in 1969. While Pictured Rocks was starved for the funds to get started, Congress was preparing to approve two new Great Lakes parks: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Voyageurs National Park. The visions of a bold future and a mendicant contemporary reality at Pictured Rocks reflected the general schizophrenia of the American government at the end of the 1960s. The vision of a Great Society remained, the means to achieve it was being squandered on the war in Vietnam. [166]

Pictured Rocks was hit with a second wave of program cuts with the passage of the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act in 1968. The federal budget was hit with $6 billion overall reduction, with the National Park Service taking a particularly big decrease. Rather than prioritize the cuts, Director Hartzog "spread the pain" throughout the system. He wanted to make the impact felt across the country thereby making a case to increase the agency's budget in virtually every congressional district. "We are anticipating no significant appropriations for about three years," Beattie told the Mining Journal. "Meanwhile, we'll just be holding the line--attempting minimum maintenance and custodial care of existing facilities the Park Service will acquire within the lakeshore area from state, county, city, township and private owners." The lakeshore's small management and protection budget was cut from $77,100 to $51,640. The roads and trails program was cut from $5,000 to $3,531. The "emergency funds" requested for Miners Castle were cut completely. [167]

The land acquisition program was able to proceed, largely due to monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Maintaining the momentum of land acquisition was critical from the perspective of the federal government. An interruption in the program could lead to real estate price increases invalidating all of the appraisals, thereby greatly escalating acquisition costs. From the perspective of Upper Peninsula residents, however, the completion of land acquisition with the virtual stoppage of all recreational development within the lakeshore was a nightmare. At the very time large blocks of private land were going off of the local tax rolls, the federal government was in control of the prime economic development asset in the region. It seemed to many a classic example of the infamous national park policy of "locking away resources."

Reenforcing the negative impression of the Park Service in the local area was the decision in January 1969 to eliminate a full-time superintendent from Pictured Rocks. Hugh P. Beattie was reassigned as superintendent of Isle Royale National Park. There was no way to remove the impression that Pictured Rocks was being put on the back burner. While sparked by financial considerations, the new administrative arrangements were part of a new management policy that was being implemented on an experimental basis in several regions within the park system. The idea was to streamline unit management by bringing two or more park units within a reasonable geographic proximity together in a single administrative cluster. The result was the creation of the Isle Royale--Pictured Rocks Group with Hugh Beattie as the General Superintendent based at Isle Royale and Norman Davidson moved into the ambiguous slot of Park Manager for Pictured Rocks. [168]

The removal of Beattie from Munising marked the beginning of the end of close and cordial relations between the local community and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Angered by the slow pace of development and dismayed by the seeming demotion of the lakeshore within the Park Service, local leaders were stunned into political action. The Upper Peninsula Committee For Area Progress complained to Congressman Ruppe that under the Park Service the "Lakeshore is a burden, not an asset." The chairman of the Central Upper Peninsula Economic Development District wrote to the congressman that the agency had increased not lessened, "the problems that have brought Alger County to its present depressed state.'' The Munising News editorialized: "We do not agree with a policy that calls for buying up more and more land areas for federal parks, lakeshores or recreation areas and then letting it lay idle for 20, 30, or 40 years before being developed." At a special meeting of local and state planners the decision was made to launch a petition campaign for full lakeshore funding. Feeling the heat, Senator Hart arranged a meeting between his staff and Northeast Regional Director Lon Garrison to review the "slowdown" at Pictured Rocks. Director Hartzog's policy decision may be said to have worked because the message that came out of the meeting was that both Senator Hart and Congressman Ruppe said, in effect, "tell us how much you need, we'll get it from Congress." The cost of this approach, however, was to turn local partners into antagonists, and supporters into skeptics. [169]

Nor were the budgetary problems at Pictured Rocks easily resolved. No special supplemental appropriations were obtained for the lakeshore, and in spite of past promises from the office of the director to give the lakeshore a "high priority'' when the budget crisis was resolved, as it was by 1970, major development funds were not forthcoming. The fact was that new projects in new parks were a low priority, particularly when a unit was located in a low population area. Historical parks were the crown jewels of the old Northeast Region. The new Great Lakes units were poorly understood and save by Allen Edmunds, not fully appreciated. "Pictured Rocks was the furthest element in the Northeast Region's empire....up in the hinterlands it was pretty, pretty slim," Hugh Beattie later recalled. Even among the Upper Great Lakes parks, Pictured Rocks was slighted. Senator Hart pushed harder for development of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was a vigorous promoter of Apostle Islands. Pictured Rocks was a stepchild. [170]

The optimistic, if vague, regional context in which Pictured Rocks was originally planned also shifted during the 1970s. President John F. Kennedy's grand promise to renew the Upper Great Lakes region in his 1963 speech in Duluth eventually resulted in the creation of a federal commission, modeled on the Appalachian Regional Commission that spearheaded redevelopment in the upper South. Unfortunately, when "the Upper Great Lakes Commission was finally established in 1967, it too became a casualty of Vietnam-era budget cutting and the growing suspicion of federal solutions to local problems. Thomas Francis, the first co-chair of the commission, toured Pictured Rocks in 1968. Early talk of Pictured Rocks being developed as one of a series of federal "star attractions" in the north country--along with Apostle Islands, Sleeping Bear, and the Forest Service's Sylvannia Tract, all linked by Interstate Highway--melted away in the more restrained atmosphere of the post-1960s era. [171]

Nor was the retreat from the development dreams of the mid-1960s restricted to the federal government. Plans for the State of Michigan to build a series of scenic highways lost all momentum after an October 1968 hearing in Marquette. Even with the federal government likely to pick up the tab for seventy-five percent of the cost, local officials balked at building new roads in the region. Much to the dismay of the Upper Michigan Tourist Association, which arranged for the hearing to push the scenic highways program, the mayor of Marquette, C. Fred Rydholm, and other local mayors called for improving the existing roads rather than building new scenic highways. May of the same people who promoted the scenic highway plan to try and derail the lakeshore now turned around and said that such roads were unneeded "luxuries." [172]

The lack of development at Pictured Rocks in the years after the master plan was approved eroded support among the staff for the program of intensive recreational use of the lakeshore. Hugh Beattie initially pushed to implement the entire plan, including the controversial shoreline drive. Yet, he had personal reservations about such a policy. Faced with the need to cut costs he criticized the regional office’s desire for management devices to ration expenditures. "We believe that a new park should consider designed-in rationing," he advised. Among the items he recommended for park planning were "Low standard roads, one-way roads, low standard campgrounds that would not attract large numbers of luxury seeking campers, limited number of access roads, no large luxurious concessions." All of these design options would reduce development costs but also reduce the human impact on the environment. The most extreme method to achieve this, he offered, would be to rely solely on boat tours for visitors to see the lakeshore. "It is conceivable," he concluded, "that the volume of the boat tours could be increased almost indefinitely without wearing out the natural resource." Beattie's speculations were indicative of a subtle shift in emphasis among Park Service personnel. The passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969 encouraged a newer, less intrusive approach to park management. Because the lack of development funds forced Beattie to establish very strict priorities, facilities were put in only where the demand was most acute. "Let's provide for demands as they arise rather than in anticipation," Beattie later recalled. It was a shift away from the proactive development orientation of the master plan. [173]

The requirement of an environmental impact statement prior to any major federal undertaking was another restraining influence. Not only did the impact statement tend to prolong the time necessary to go from concept to construction, it also provided a greater degree of public participation in the planning process.

The dedication of the lakeshore in October 1972, masked the growing rift between the community and the National Park Service over the course of lakeshore development. There was a strong desire on everyone's part to believe that the lakeshore was beginning to turn a corner. Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Nat Reed, forecast that the dedication marked the "end of the beginning." Edward N. Locke, the Chair of the Advisory Commission, however, wanted more assurance than a rhetorical flourish. Both at the dedication and in the months that followed Locke lobbied hard for "timely realization" of the staffing and development authorizations for Pictured Rocks. In the end, he was left to ponder the credibility gap between the Department of the Interior's assurance that Pictured Rocks was a "high priority" and no actual new construction or rehabilitation in 1972 and 1973. What action did take place occurred because Senator Hart secured a supplemental appropriation of $206,000 for the lakeshore. But even these funds did not lead directly to major improvements in the park. [174]

In June 1972, a contract was issued to Johnson, Johnson and Roy architectural and Engineering Firm of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to develop a concept plan, a comprehensive design, and working drawings for visitor and recreation facilities at Miners Basin and Miners Castle. The original development concept for the area had been prepared by the National Park Service and approved in December 1969. The passage of the National Environmental Policy Act, however, negated that plan because it required that an environmental impact review precede any project work. Johnson, Johnson, and Roy were also awarded the contract to prepare the environmental impact statement. For three years all development at Miners Castle, Pictured Rocks' most important site, was held hostage to this contract. The lakeshore finally had development funds but all money seemed to be spent on planning. The lack of visible progress on the ground was a minor scandal and a major source of irritation. [175]

Superintendent Beattie tried to prod the Northeast Region to speedy action, but to no avail. One year after the lakeshore had been approved for $206,000 in development funds, only $63,000 had been spent on planning. In fiscal year 1973, the agency was awarded an additional $203,000 for development at the lakeshore. Of this, $87,000 was spent on planning and the rest was uncontracted. In frustration, Beattie, complained that the bulk of the money seemed to have "disappeared down some planning and service center rathole." In lieu of results, Beattie demanded that the regional office provide him with some effective way to respond to the mounting criticism in Alger County of the "long deferred accomplishment of the many development promises which were made regarding the Pictured Rocks during the legislative stages of this project." [176]

Beattie never did get an answer, nor did the pace of development at the lakeshore increase. In 1975, after repeated failures by Johnson, Johnson, and Roy to prepare a draft impact statement for the Miners area, the Denver Service Center took up the task. The center did not meet its promise to have a comprehensive design ready and approved within a year. In fact, it was not until 1978 that the development plan for Miners Castle was finally implemented. It had taken more than ten years after the lakeshore was created by Congress for the agency to begin construction on its first major development project. It was ten years after the original master plan had been prepared that the first element in that plan was in place. [177]

Miners Castle was destined to be the only phase of the master plan to be implemented. The large black-top parking lot, the hardened walkways, and the oversized comfort stations that today lie perched atop the cliff are all that remains of the dream to develop the Pictured Rocks into a tourist attraction on the scale of the Great Smoky Mountains. By 1974, budget cuts brought by the Vietnam War ensured that the Kennedy administration dream of active federal recreation areas leading to regional economic development was superseded by new sensitivity to environmental protection.

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Last Updated: 05-Apr-2002