President Richard Nixon appointed Ronald H. Walker, an advance man on his staff, to replace George Hartzog in January 1973. Lacking park experience, Walker made Russell E. Dickenson, an NPS careerist, his deputy. Walker advocated a policy of "stabilization," foreseeing that NPS funding and staffing would be inadequate for a continuing high influx of new parks and program responsibilities. Fourteen areas nevertheless joined the park system during his two years as director, including the first two national preserves. Nixon's resignation in August 1974 presaged Walker's replacement five months later.
Last updated: February 7, 2018