Southwestern Monuments Monthly Report

Opening By Superintendent Frank Pinkley,
Southwestern Monuments,
Coolidge, Arizona.

We are yet unable to report any strong upward trend of business in our district. The first glance at our visitor figures might make one corroborate that impression. Monuments where we keep our closest check on visitors show little change from past years. This is no disappointment to us, for we would be very glad to have the visitor curve at several of our monuments flatten out and remain where it is for some years to come instead of going on upward to unwieldy numbers and to the destruction of some of our ruins.

In the matter of visitors, we hope to begin an experiment before long at Betatakin Ruin in Navajo National Monument of excluding visitors from the ruin. We already have the approval of our own Service and the matter is before the Secretary of the Interior for approval at the present time. I am interested in and rather dreading the visitor reaction to this move but think it is very much worth while to make the experiment. When a visitor has driven that bad road and walked down that poor trail and is then told he cannot climb around over the ruins, we are likely to have a bad half-hour. The setting, however, lends itself admirably to this exploitation of the ruin and I think the experiment should be made even though it may result in failure. We will take the visitor within the cave arch and there give him a comfortable seat, furnish him with glasses, plans, photographs, etc., and talk over the ruin to his heart's content, but he must not go up among the walls. It is a magnificent setting and I believe the trip can be made very impressive.

Our outline of work for the new fiscal year was considerably delayed, but arrived about the twentieth of the month and we now now where we stand.

The new ranger position at Chiricahua was filled for the remainder of the summer by G. Gilbert Philp. This gives us our maximum force for the year and we will begin dropping men by the end of August.

Our CCC camp and side camps continued to operate at Bandelier, Chiricahua, Chaco Canyon, and Casa Grande during the month. Programs were made up and sent in for the new period. The new camp at Flagstaff, NM-5-A, did not receive its men this month. The men are now promised by August 2 and soon after that date we hope to be able to go to work at Walnut Canyon.

We enjoyed a visit from Mr. Demaray of the Washington Office during the month. We met him at Phoenix and showed him Casa Grande, Saguaro, Tumacacori, Chiricahua, Tonto, Montezuma Castle, the proposed Tuzigoot, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Wupatki National Monuments and have hopes of adding a couple of others before he gets out of the district.

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on having served as Director of the Service for five years and to renew our pledge of loyalty to you as long as you hold the office. May the first five years prove a good beginning for the real job ahead of you!

They have been five rather hectic years, as we look back upon them, and five hard years to live through. Things sometimes happened in an upside-down fashion; we have grown too fast in some ways and have lagged along in others; we need to assemble, coordinate, and digest the things we have absorbed in the grand rush which has been upon us. But we are still with you, your men from soda to hock, and we will back you with our money, chalk, or marbles, just as we said we would five years ago.

As we look down the months ahead, we grow uneasy at the prospect of the break of another big Public Works program with its attendant overtime work and strain upon our personnel, but we have come through all right thus far and are reeady to start again when you say the word.

Visitor curves are flattening out, it appears, at several of our monuments which have been worrying us with a rising curve and if this will hold for a few years, we may get caught up with our protection and be able to control some of our worst problems.

Our museums program has advanced slowly during the month, some work having been done at Bandelier and Tumacacori and a primary plan completed by our office for White Sands. This latter plan will have to be mimeographed and circulated for further study and approvals.

On the whole, the outlook through the district is good for the present and looks better for the immediate future. We don't yet see how we are going to give vacations to all the personnel this yearr because there is no slack period on so many of our jobs, and with two lone-post men 300 miles apart, one cannot double up and take care of the other's work while he is gone.

We have asked this month for the establishment of another position in the headquarters office and unless we can get it we will have to ask for the lifting of many of our deadlines because we cannot go on asking our office force to put in the overtime they have had to put in for the last year.

Frank Pinkley
Frank Pinkley,

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Date: 01-May-2007