Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History
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The entry of the United States into World War II created critical management problems for the National Park Service. Congress cut park appropriations by more than 50 percent. Between June 30, 1942, and June 30, 1943, the number of permanent, full-time positions in the Park Service was reduced from 4,510 to 1,974, a cut of more than 55 percent. With the imposition of gas rationing, visitation fell dramatically; all travel promotion activities within the agency ceased. Even the railroads abandoned their policy of putting on special supplemental trains and reducing rates to the parks. Total visitation to national parks and monuments for 1942 (the first travel year after the country went to war) fell by 55 percent. [1166]

For the previous decade, the Park Service had derived incalculable benefit from the labor of the Civilian Conservation Corps and other public works programs. All CCC camps were ordered closed by June 30, 1943 (as discussed in Part V, Pipe Spring National Monument lost its camp considerably earlier, much to Custodian Heaton's relief). The loss of CCC camps and their work crews from the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service units was only slightly ameliorated by the Selective Service's establishment of Civilian Public Service camps, manned largely by conscientious objectors. [1167] Now, in addition to the cessation of these work programs, finding qualified or experienced men to hire became a difficult challenge because so many men joined the military or became otherwise involved in the war effort. In fact, some parks became so desperate that they - like private industry - began hiring women in positions previously reserved for men, as rangers and fire lookouts.

A minimal staff of engineers, landscape architects, and historians was retained in the Washington office and four regional offices in order to maintain certain basic functions and to continue the work of planning for future developments. Certain other activities, however, ceased to function at all during the war years, such as the Historic American Buildings Survey. To make matters even more complicated, the offices of the National Park Service, as well as two other services, were moved from Washington, D.C., to Chicago in 1942 to make room for military functions in the nation's capitol. They were not moved back until 1947.

Some parks were heavily impacted by wartime activities, particularly by military demands for their natural resources. Secretary Harold L. Ickes called on the various bureaus in his department for "full mobilization of the Nation's natural resources for war..." [1168] Fortunately, Pipe Spring National Monument had absolutely nothing the military needed or wanted. Nonetheless, the war's impact was felt in a number of ways. The worst drop in monument visitation since the opening of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel occurred during the war years. Perhaps of even more significance to Pipe Spring was the transfer of the monument's administration from Southwestern National Monuments (Southwestern Monuments) to Zion National Park. Although Custodian Heaton then faced an unprecedented number of official inspections, property inventories, and lectures on how to do things "right," he responded with his characteristic humility and desire to do whatever was asked of him. As in other park units, monument development plans were executed, reviewed, and commented on, to be put "on the shelf " until the war's end. Historical research continued, particularly as Zion officials asked new questions about the importance of the monument's historic landscape. Progress continued in transforming the fort into a historic house museum. Road issues continued to be debated during the war years, whether discussions centered on the monument road or the only sporadically maintained approach roads from east and west. Finally, the question of water rights at the monument was revived again, precipitated by a federal ruling in 1942 on water reserves and park units.

Otherwise, life at Pipe Spring went on pretty much as usual, with the local folk continuing to gather at the site to picnic in view of the old Mormon fort and under the shade of its many trees. There was another important attraction, of course. Now that the monument's water was no longer demanded by the Army for CCC camps, local Mormons and Indians alike were welcome to cool off in the meadow pool, an opportunity many took advantage of during the hot, dry summers that were characteristic of the Arizona Strip.

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006