Theodore Roosevelt
Administrative History
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1. Theodore Roosevelt, Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, reprint (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983), 39-40. Originally published 1888.

2. There is no greater "problem" with Roosevelt's character than trying to reconcile the hunter and the conservationist. To my mind this has never been adequately worked out, but is sensibly treated in Paul Schullery's introduction to American Bears: Selections From the Writings of Theodore Roosevelt (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1983).

3. J. T. Sarvis and J. E. Switzer, "North Dakota," in Naturalist's Guide to the Americas, Victor E. Shelford, ed. (Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Co., 1926), 546; Nate Halliday, "Report of Activity," in Sixth Annual Report of the State Game and Fish Commissioner of the State of North Dakota (N.p., 1935), 37. Phelps Wyman, a consultant to the early park promotional groups, in 1930 recommended to them "the restoration of much of the wild life. . . ."; see Strand, 26. See also Byrne, "Final Project Report, Roosevelt Regional Park," unpaginated.

4. Osmer, 4.

5. Petty, "Draft History," 66. The group included the noted wildlife biologist Olaus Murie (see text at nn8-9 below).

6. Edwin C. Alberts, "Regional Naturalist's Summary Notes," unpublished MS, June 1962 (THRO-S), 24.

Examples of wildlife research include: Paul L. Hansen, Ricky B. Hopkins, and George R. Hoffman, An Ecological Study of the Habitat Types and Their Animal Components at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota (Vermillion: Department of Biology, University of South Dakota, 1980); Paul L. Hansen, "An Ecological Study of the Vegetation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota," master's thesis, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, 1980; Patrick W. Theisen, "Age-Specific Reproduction in the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog," master's thesis, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 1981; Robert W. Seabloom, Richard D. Crawford, and Michael W. McKenna, Vertebrates of Southwestern North Dakota: Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Research Report #24, Institute for Ecological Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 1978. Finally, Jack Norland, Clayton Marlow, and Lynn Irby of Montana State University have recently finished an important study of the bison populations at Theodore Roosevelt: their ranges and seasonal feeding habits, and general forage conditions.

7. A. Starker Leopold, Stanley A. Cain, Clarence M. Cottam, Ira N. Gabrielson, and Thomas L. Kimball, "Wildlife Management in the National Parks," Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 28: 28-45. This report is cited in virtually every professional paper on the subject. Its publication has been called the manifestation of "the most important shift in national park philosophy"—the shift away from the precepts of MISSION 66 and toward those of total ecosystem management, or biocentrism See Brian C. Kenner, "The Philosophical Basis for National Park Management," The George Wright Forum 4:3, 27.

8. In his memoir, Murie freely admitted that ever since his boyhood the badlands had seemed to him "legendary," a quality imputed to them by Roosevelt's presence there. Although it is only speculation, it appears that Murie may have been implicitly advocating that NPS manage the wildlife of the park so as to re create those parts of the Rooseveltian landscape of the 1880s that had appealed to him as a youth, and which now were flooding his memory as a man (see Appendix F). If so, the park's reintroduction program was predicated upon a spurious principle—one which does not stand alone, if D. B. Houston is to be believed. Writing of Yellowstone's northern elk herd, he contended that by the 1960s the Park Service had fallen into managing the animals for a kind of ecological "scene" that it found (or thought park visitors would find) aesthetically appealing, but which was without sound scientific basis: lush vegetation, fat elk, and unburned forests. Houston, The Northern Yellowstone Elk, quoted by David M. Graber, "Managing for Uncertainty: National Parks as Ecological Reserves," The George Wright Forum 4:3, 4-5.

9. Russell Reid, "The Mammal and Bird Life of the North Dakota Badlands," unpublished MS, 1948 (WL Papers), 2-3; McKenzie County Farmer, 25 January, 8 February, and 24 May 1951; Strand, 47-48.

10. Micki Hellickson (Chief Naturalist, THRO) to author, 8 October 1985.

11. "NRM Plan," 48-50.

12. "1975 Superintendent's Annual Report," 6.

13. "NRM Plan," 38.

14. Howard W. Baker, "Items of Interest from the Regional Director," memorandum, 25 January 1963 (THRO-S).

15. "NRM Plan," 38.

16. "North Unit District Ranger Monthly Narrative Re port," memorandums, 1 October 1959, 1 August 1960, and 1 September 1960 (THRO-S); McKenzie County Farmer, 28 September 1975.

17. Hellickson to author, 8 October 1985

18. "1974 Superintendent's Annual Report," 7; Robert D. Powell, "Reduction and Disposal of Surplus Wildlife," paper prepared for the NPS Chief Ranger's Conference, Jackson, WY, 21-24 March 1977, 2.

19. "Staff Meeting Minutes," 27 April 1966; "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 8 August 1974, 7 November 1977, 14 November 1978, and 30 August 1979; "Superintendent's Monthly Narrative Report," 11 May 1967, 3.

20. Arthur L. Sullivan (Supt., THRO) to Reg. Dir. (MWRO), memorandum, 15 April 1969 (THRO-S). In 1975 a map was prepared showing the location and frequency of buffalo escapes in the North Unit. "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 8 October 1975.

21. For 1974-1977, see Powell, "Reduction and Disposal," 5. The latter figures are from 1976-1979, when 143 escapes cost the park $9300. See "1979 Superintendent's Annual Report," 9-10. The most recent tabulation of total claim payments is nearly $18,000: "NRM Plan," 60.

22. Walter H. Kittams (Regional Research Biologist, NPS) to Asst. Reg. Dir., memorandum, 7 July 1961 (THRO-S), 2.

23. James B. Thompson (Supt., THRO) to Area Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs (Aberdeen, SD), 29 June 1970 (THRO-S). It should be noted, though, that in 1974 a park buffalo was slaughtered specifically for a museum exhibit at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. "State Coordinator's Monthly Report," memorandum, 27 November 1974 (THRO-A).

24. In 1977, Chief Ranger Robert Powell estimated the value of buffalo given away since 1963 at over $258,000. Powell, "Reduction and Disposal," 2.

25. Ibid., 3-4. See also Catherine Rutherford, "Theodore Roosevelt roundup corrals buffalo," Courier: The National Park Service Newsletter 4:1 (January 1981), 13.

26. If so, Powell suggested a study of bison reaction to forced herding. See "Reduction and Disposal," 7. A lone bison bull behavioral study was completed in the park in 1966. "Superintendent's Monthly Report," 13 January 1967, 2.

27. Powell, "Reduction and Disposal," 2, 8. For brucellosis status, see "NRM Plan," 38, and Belfield News, 3 October 1968.

28. "NRM Plan," 60, 38. See also "Superintendent's Monthly Report," 13 January 1967, 3.

29. "NRM Plan," 45.

30. "North Unit District Ranger Monthly Narrative Re port," 31 July 1959; Lary D. Barney, "Final Report on Status of Bighorn Sheep in Theodore Roosevelt Nation al Memorial Park," unpublished MS, ca. 1967 (THRO-A), 2.

31. Barney, "Final Report on Status of Bighorn Sheep," 3; "North Unit District Ranger Monthly Narrative Report," 4 April 1960. The South Unit enclosure was between 160 and 200 acres in size and was located on Big Plateau. See Sullivan to Charles G. Hansen (Research Biologist, Death Valley NM) 11 April 1969 (THRO-S); Barney, 3; and Petty, "Draft History," 82. I have been unable to ascertain the location of the North Unit enclosure.

32. Barney, "Final Report on Status of Bighorn Sheep," 9, 1.

33. For trapping and initial release: Sullivan to Hansen, 11 April 1969; and "NRM Plan," 45. For range studies, Walter H. Kittams (Regional Research Biologist) to Asst. Reg. Dir. (MWRO), memorandum, 2 April 1963 (THRO-S); Barney, "Final Report on Status of Bighorn Sheep," 8; "Superintendent's Monthly Narrative Report," 10 August 1964. For breeding problems: Sullivan to Hansen, 11 April 1969; and Barney, 3. For lamb predation: Barney, 3; Sullivan to Reg. Dir. (MWRO), memorandum, 7 May 1968 (THRO-S); Sullivan to Hansen, 11 April 1969. For North Unit release: 1963 Master Plan, unpaginated. In his "Draft History," (p. 85) Petty states that the first bighorns were inoculated against brucellosis, hemorrhagic septicemia, and black leg while in the enclosure. No other source corroborates this.

34. Sullivan to Hansen, 11 April 1969. See also Barney, "Final Report on Status of Bighorn Sheep," 3, 9; and "Superintendent's Monthly Report," 8 October 1965.

35. "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 10 December 1975.

36. Steven D. Fairaizl, "Investigations of Bighorn Sheep Lamb Mortality Factors," unpublished MS, ca. 1978 (THRO-A), unpaginated; "NRM Plan," 45.

37. Fairaizl, unpaginated; "1978 Superintendent's Annual Report," 12; "1979 Superintendent's Annual Report," 7.

38. Stephen H. Richards, "Preliminary Report on Bighorn Sheep Deaths in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park", unpublished MS, 25 September 1980 (THRO-A).

39. Hellickson to author, 8 October 1985.

40. See also "NRM Plan," 58; Hellickson to author, 14 May and 8 October 1985; Harvey D. Wickware (Supt., THRO) to Dick Hanegar (Commissioner, ND Game & Fish Dept.), 12 July 1983 (THRO-A). The McKenzie County Farmer reported in its 24 May 1951 issue that elk were to be reintroduced along with bison as soon as the park was fenced. See 1973 Master Plan, 3; The New York Times, 3 May 1954, 27, and 8 August 1954, 2:25.

41. "NRM Plan," 55.

42. Joan Nice, "Endangered Species: A Wyoming Town Becomes Ferret Capital," Audubon 84:4 (July 1982), 106-109. Even in Roosevelt's day the blackfooted ferret was a "rather rare animal": Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, 41. The 24 May 1951 issue of the Farmer also reported that blackfooted ferrets were to be brought in to control the growth of two prairie dog towns in the park.

43. "NRM Plan," 55.

44. "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 17 September 1973, gives 435 as a figure, as does the "NRM Plan" (1983). The census for 1977 gives 500 acres: "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 7 November 1977. See also Final Environmental Statement: Wilderness Proposal, 10. One general study of the park's prairie dogs is Carl B. Koford, Prairie Dogs, Whitefaces, and Blue Grama (The Wildlife Society: Wildlife Monographs #3, 1959). His research was also conducted at Wind Cave NP and Devils Tower NM.

45. "NRM Plan," 53-54.

46. "North Unit District Ranger's Monthly Narrative Report," 3 May and 12 July 1960; and May 1958.

47. "Chief Ranger's Monthly Report," 14 March 1983; "NRM Plan," 74-75.

48. "NRM Plan," 65-66, 70-71. The other two are chukar (Alectoris chukar) and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), the latter entering the park after being released elsewhere in the badlands by sportsmen's clubs. 1963 Master Plan, unpaginated.

49. "NRM Plan," 76-77. Reference may also be made to George C. Wheeler, The Amphibians and Reptiles of the North Dakota Badlands (Medora: Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Assn., 1954), and to Seabloom et al. at n6 above.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004