National Park Service History Collection RG 51

Preliminary Inventory

Description: Material dealing with policy about the selection of proposed areas and the areas themselves, individually and in groups.

Inclusive & Bulk Dates: The range of dates runs from 1924 to 1988; the bulk of the material is from the 1960's.

Location (1997): Bay 7, Range E, Shelves 2 and 6.

Keywords: Advisory Board, Areas, Grasslands, New Areas, Policy, Prairie Park, Proposed Areas, Recreation, Regions, and Suggested Areas, Area investigations.

Accession Numbers: HFCA-0212, HFCA-0221, and HFCA-0697.

A. Provenance

Much of this material came in during the 1970's from former Advisory Board members and deals mainly with areas proposed in the 1960's. One such identifiable accession is HFCA-0212 from Frank Masland. The material was sent to board members for study since recommending proposed areas is one of the major duties of Advisory Board members

The proposals come to Congress and the Advisory Board from a variety of sources. Often an organization supporting the establishment of an area and other interested people publish widely on their areas. Such articles have found their way into the collection from earliest times. Articles are also among the material gathered by the Office of Public Affairs. The collection includes both public and internal National Park Service documents.

B. History

The Director's Office took on the task of investigating proposed areas upon the establishment of the National Park Service. Often investigations would be assigned to the superintendent nearest the proposed area. The establishment of the Secretary's Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monuments by the Historic Sites Act of 1935 had a major impact on this process. The Board, now named the National Park System Advisory Board, recommends new areas as one of its principal duties. Since the establishment of regions in 1937, investigations have been conducted under the auspices of the regional historian. The Advisory Board then inspects the proposed area through visits around the time of the annual spring and fall meetings.

It is rare for an area to be authorized by Congress without NPS and Advisory Board approval. Often it takes some time for an area to be authorized by Congress after its approval. On occasion, areas have been authorized but not funded. The Advisory Board also recommends that state, private, or another federal agency, such as the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service, manage an area rather than approving the NPS acquisition

C. Summary Scope and Contents Note

This material includes area resumes, articles, books, brochures, clippings, data summary sheets, histories, information sheets, list book, lists, maps, pamphlets, many papers, paperback, plans, press releases, proposals, many reports, reprints, resolutions, statements, and studies. The collection includes documents dating from 1924 to the present, with the bulk of the material dating from 1957 to 1972. The Area Resumes produced by the NPS are significant. The material on Prairie Proposals is of great interest because a Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve has recently been established (1997). Material concerning areas that successfully become part of the National Park System are usually removed from this collection and placed in the Park Historic Reference File under the name of the new area.

D. Series

Series I: Policy

Policy material includes articles, brochures, circulars, plans, question and answer statements, and many reports. It is arranged in chronological order. The policy material covers area administration, area establishment, area identification, area selection, planning, recreation, and the NPS System Plan.

Brochure: Recreation Advisory Council Circular Number 1, March 26, 1963, Federal Executive Branch Policy Governing the Selection, Establishment, and Administration of National Recreational Areas.

Recreation Planning Issue Paper, January 1973, December 1972, Program Support Paper, Parks to People versus 1972-1973, Program Support Paper, Expansion of the National Park System.

National Park System Plan: A Definition and a Discussion, November 1968.

"Questions frequently asked by the public concerning various proposals for the addition of new areas to the National Park System and answers based on the general and specific laws and policies established by Congress for administration of areas of the National Park System and based on the experience and practices of the National Park System is similar instances over the years." For the National Park Service use only, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., October 1967, August 1967.

Reprint of "Identifying Areas of National Park Caliber," by George L. Collins, American Planning and Civic Annual, 1940.

National Resources Board Park II, Report of the Land Planning Committee, November 1934.

Series II: Multiple Areas

This series is divided into general material concerning more than one area and the area resumes. The general material includes articles, background information, histories, lists, and summary sheets. The area resumes are brief reports. Arrangement is by size and chronology for the general material. The area resumes are divided by regions in effect at the time then by states alphabetically within state. Some of the general material deals with specific groups like the Alaska parks but mostly it considers individual areas in large groups. The area resumes are likewise individual with a large group. The material is in the rest of the first archive box plus a notebook in the record box.

A. General

Future Parks for the Nation While There's Still Time, prepared in 1966. The areas mentioned included Allagash River, Main; Allegheny Portage and Johnstown Flood; between the Lakes, Kentucky-Tennessee; Bighorn Canyon; Boston: Canyonlands; Channel Islands; Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; Congaree Swamp; Flaming Gorge; Florissant Fossil Beds; Fossil Butte; Fort Larned; Fort Union Trading Post; Golden Spike; Great Basin; Great Falls; Hubbell Trading Post; Ice Age; Independence; Longfellow; Mount Clare Station, Maryland; Oregon Dunes; Ozark; Pictured Rocks; Poverty Point, Louisiana; prairie, Kansas; Saint Gaudens; Sleeping Bear Dunes; Tocks Island (Delaware Water Gap); Valle Grande, New Mexico; and Whiskeytown.

Proposed National Park Lands Alaska, GPO 796-547. The areas include Gates of the Arctic; Lake Clark; Yukon Charley Rivers; Aniakchak; Kobuk Valley; Kenai Fjords; Katmai; Denali and Sitka.

"Lands of Change: Four Parks in Alaska," by William T. Ingersoll, Journal of the West, Vol. 7:2, April 1968. The areas include Glacier Bay, Katmai, Denali and Sitka.

National Park System New Area Studies, Threatened Natural Landmarks and National Significant Historic Places, communication from Assistant Secretary of Interior House Document number 96-12, Part I, February 1979. The areas include Prairies Park, Channel Islands, Valle Grande, Frederick Law Olmsted, City of Rocks, Hagerman Fauna Sites, Hopeton Earthworks, Potomac River, Mt. Mitchell, and Great Basin.

Lists of Books - Authorized and Proposed System Areas, June 8,1972.

List 1, Areas Authorized and Administered by the National Park Service.

List 2, Areas Authorized and Administered by Another Agency.

List 3, Authorized Areas - NPS Activation Pending.

List 4, Authorized Areas Another Agency.

List 5, Authorized Areas - Activation Deferred.

List 6, Suitable Areas.

List 7, Significant Areas.

List 8, Suggested Areas.

List 9, Legislative Proposals for Boundary or Ceiling revision for Authorized NPS Areas.

List 10, NPS Areas Transferred to other Federal Agencies or Political Subdivision.

List 11 (missing).

List 12, Interest Areas.

History of the Johnson Proclamations 1968-69, by James H. Husted, September 1970. The areas include Denali, Gates of the Arctic, Katmai, Arches, Capitol Reef, Mammoth Cave and Sonoran Desert, New Mexico.

Nationwide Urban Recreation Study Program. 14 Potential National Recreation Areas, Background Information BOR, September 1970. The areas include CHOH, GATE, Conn. River, GOGO, Maumee, Buffalo Bayou, Anacostia, Chattahoochee River, Four Seasons, Upper Mississippi River, SAMO, Lake Michigan Beach, Lake Erie, and Huck River.

National Park System Plan, January 18, 1965, by state

B. Area Resumes

[Area investigations / proposals] a notebook with carbon copies of area resumes and proposals. Most are in the form of memoranda for Director Albright. The originals of most were signed "C.[onrad] L. Wirth" They date from 1930 to 1934 and are arranged in the notebook alphabetically by proposed area name. There is a modern typewritten listing at the beginning.

Proposed National Monuments (1941). Notebook with modern listing of the contents.

Pertinent data concerning proposed national monuments in national forests. Pearl Dwyer, February 6, 1947. Consists of area resumes in the form of drafted proclamations for the President's signature. Also includes estimated costs.

Proposed Area Resumes, August 1947.

Proposed Area Resumes, August 1947, Annotated Copy for Region 3 areas only include Arizona and Utah.

Proposed Area Resumes,relabeled, Suggested Area Resumes, July 1949, Region 1 with additions.

Suggested Area Resumes, January 1957, updated condensation based on 1947 work.

Series III: Prairie Proposals

The prairie material consists of analysis, articles and clippings, master plans, brochures, reports, and statements. It is arranged in rough chronological order. The material covers areas in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma that preserve a remnant of the Tallgrass prairie. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was authorized in 1997. These proposals include areas not a part of the final authorized preserve.

Map of Lake McClelland Recreation Area Panhandle National Grasslands Texas, 1962, USFS.

Paper on National Research Council Committee on the Ecology of North American Grassland Western Nebraska Meeting Preparations including comments on the NPS Proposed Areas Scot's Bluff Grasslands, April 22, 1937.

Special Report, Grassland Areas in Nebraska and Wyoming, by W.B. McDougall, Wildlife Technician, July 1937.

Reprint of "A Proposed Great Plains National Monument," by Victor H. Cahalane, Scientific Monthly, August 1940, Vol. LI, pages 125-139.

A Proposed Prairie National Park, July 1961.

Folder, formerly spiral bound, on Proposed True Prairie National Park Kansas, Master Plan for the Preservation and the Use of Proposed True Prairie National Park, Mission 66, edition ca. 1960. Statement Analyzing Studies and Preliminary Plan for Proposed Prairie National Park Pottawatomie County, Kansas, September 1960, Region Two, Omaha, Nebraska. Proposed Prairie National Park Pottawatomie County, Kansas, May 1961, NPS Region Two. Proposal for a True Prairie National Park, December 1958, Region Two Office NPS.

Paper on Prairie National Park, an analysis of S. 986, submitted on August 18, 1963, on invitation by Anthony Wayne Smith. President and General Council National Parks Association at subcommittee hearings.

Folder on Tallgrass Prairie containing the following:

Photocopied clippings, "Tallgrass Prairie Park," by Al Bohling.

The Environmental Journal, March 1971, "Ocean of grass," by Paul M. Tilden.

A paper entitled "The Tallgrass Prairie", by E. Raymond Hull.

A paper titled "Tallgrass Prairie National Park: Local Problems and possible solutions questions and Probable Answers", prepared by the Prairie National Park History Association, Inc., September 15, 1971.

A Paper titled "Tallgrass Prairie National Park : An Argument for Your Support", April 24, 1971.

A clipping, "Tallgrass Prairie National Park," American Forests, December 1971.

Reprint of "A Proposal : Great Plains National Park," by Durward L. Allen, National Parks and Conservation Magazine, August 1977.

House Document Number 96-12, Part II, Proposed Prairie National Park, Kansas, Oklahoma. Reports on New Areas Studies.

A. Preliminary Environmental Assessment Alternative Study Areas.

B. Studies leading to the Proposed Prairie National Park Environmental Assessment.

C. Physiographic Resources.

D. Water Resources, Technical Range Site Descriptions Adapted from Soil Surveys.

E. Biological Inventory Wildlife Ecology.

F. Land Use and Demographic Characteristics.

G. Cultural Resources.

H. Visual/Scenic Resources.

I. Landownership.

J. Oil, Gas, and Mineral Evaluation.

K. Archeological Resources (outline).

L. Outline of Economic Impact to a Prairie National Park.

M. Social Survey (outline), February 5, 1979.

Clipping titled, "Hooray! A Tallgrass Prairie Unit within sight," by Douglas Faris, Courier, July 1988.

Thin paperback titled Grassland, by Jim and Alice Wilson, Wide Skies Books, c. 1967.

Series IV: Office of Public Affairs (HFCA-0221)

This material includes articles and reports arranged mostly alphabetically in folders. The folders have been kept as received from the Office of Public Affairs (WASO). The folders concern individual proposals.

Stonewall National Cultural Park (proposed).

Tinicum Marsh Preservation, Pennsylvania. (Proposed). U.S.S. Cairo (gunboat) (proposed).

Proposed National Historic Sites.

Proposed National Parks, Seashores, and Lakeshores.

Adirondack Mountains National Park (proposed).

Allagash National Recreation Area, Maine (proposed) state.

Big Cypress National Fresh Water Reserve, Florida (proposed).

Channel Island National Park, California (proposed).

Congaree Forest, South Carolina (proposed).

Connecticut Historic Riverway (proposed).

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (proposed preservation).

Eisenhower National Historic Site, Pennsylvania (proposed) donated.

El Malpais National Park, New Mexico (proposed) [now in NPS].

Fahkahatchee Strand, Florida (proposed).

Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming (proposed) [now in NPS].

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial (proposed) [now in NPS].

General Thaddeus Kosciuszko (proposed) [now in NPS].

George Norris Home National Historic Site (proposed).

Guam (proposed).

Juan Manuel de Ayala National Recreational Area, California (proposed).

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park (proposed) [now in NPS].

Lake Tahoe (proposed).

Lincoln Home Historic Site, Illinois (proposed) [now in NPS].

Lowell National Cultural Park (proposed) [now in NPS].

Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Virginia (proposed) Forest Service Area.

Nantucket Sound Islands Trust, Massachusetts (proposed)

Oregon Dunes National Seashore, Oregon (proposed) Forest Service.

Plymouth Rock National Memorial, Massachusetts (proposed).

Prairie National Park, Kansas (proposed) [now in NPS].

Santa Monica Mountains, California (proposed) [now in NPS].

Sawtooth Mountains National Park, Idaho (proposed).

Scotty's Castle, California (proposed) [part of Death Valley NP].

Proposed Area Missouri Breaks National River

Series V: Individual Proposals

These proposals are in the form of articles and clippings, bills, book, correspondence, economic studies, fact paper, folders, information sheets, master plans, newspaper series, plans, reprints, many kinds of reports, statements, studies, and summary sheets. The arrangement is patterned after that of the Area Resumes. It is first geographical by region, then alphabetically by state, and last alphabetically within state. Most of these proposals date from the 1960s, but some are earlier.

Northeast Region


Proposed Allagash National Recreation Area, 1961 NPS.

Folder on Allagash containing correspondence of Frank Masland on proposal.

A Report on the Proposed Allagash National Riverway, BOR 1963.


Proposed Plymouth Rock National Memorial, 1969 NPS.

New Jersey

Folder on Pine Barrens containing correspondence of Frank Masland on proposal.

New Jersey - New York

Report on Palisades Interstate Park, New Jersey and New York prepared by S. Sydney Bradford, August 1964.

New York

A Report on a Proposed Adirondack Mountains National Park, July 1967.

Report on Brooklyn Heights New York, prepared by Joseph P. Cullen.

New York - Vermont

Report: Chester A. Arthur Sites Vermont and New York, prepared by S. Sydney Bradford, August 1964.


A Report by the National Park Service on the Proposal to Establish the Green Mountain National Park in the State of Vermont, January 1937.


Report on Old Lock Pump House Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Maryland, prepared by Dr. M.H. Nelligan, August 1964.

Pennsylvania - Ohio

Reconnaissance Study Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal, by Frank Barnes and Andrew G. Feil, August 1962.


Report on "Friendship Hill" Albert Gallatin Home Pennsylvania, prepared by S. Sydney Bradford, August 1964.


The Plan of a Memorial for President James Monroe at "Oak Hill" Loudoun County, Virginia, by Frank C. Littleton, June 1946 (private).

National Capital Region

Fact Paper: Old North Building (Georgetown University, D.C.)

Newspaper Series from the Washington Post, "Potomac Oddessey Biography of a River," Part I, "From Its Secret Upper Reaches," July 7, 1968; Part II, "The Middle River," July 14, 1968; Part III, "Washington's River," July 21, 1968; Part IV, "Tidewater," July 28, 1968.

Pennsylvania Avenue, Report of the President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue, April 1964.

Southeast Region


Florida Coral Reefs Island, BOR & NPS, 1965.

Master Plan for the Preservation and Use of Marco National Seashore, prepared by James W. Steward, February 28, 1962.

Florida - Georgia

Suggested Suwanee National River Florida and Georgia, 1964.

Economic Study of the Proposed Suwanee National Wild Rive, prepared under order number 31-1036, for the National Park Service by Carter C. Osterbind, January 1965.

Folder on "Suwanee River," National Wild and Scenic River Proposal containing BOR Field Task Force Study Report

Suwanee River Florida and Georgia, National Wild and Scenic River Proposal, Preliminary Field Review Draft, June 12, 1970.


Folder on Oglethorpe Trail containing correspondence and bills S2130, April 12, 1937, to survey and construct Oglethorpe National Trail and Parkway, also HR6243 reference the same.

Advisory Board Resolution, November 9, 1967, Proposed Savannah NHS, Georgia.

Kentucky - Tennessee

Field Investigation Report for the Proposed Between-the-Rivers National Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee, Region 1, April 1961.


Report on Linden Grove Cemetery Covington Kentucky, National Park Service South East Region, August 1963.

North Carolina

Advisory Board Memo, November 1967, Smith Island, North Carolina.


Information Pinson Mounds, Tennessee, 1963.

Report on Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga , National Park Service South East Region, March 1964.


Field Investigation Report, Poverty Point, Louisiana, National Park Service Region One, March 1962.

Midwest Region


A Study of the Chicago Portage (Proposed NHS), by Olaf T. Hagan including historical statement by Paul M. Angle National Park Service, Region Two, Omaha, Nebraska, January 1949.

Advisory Board Paper on The Robie House, Chicago, ca 1963.


Advisory Board Paper on Angel Mounds, Indiana, ca 1963.


Huron Mountains, Michigan, a report prepared by the Great Lakes Shoreline Recreation Areas Survey 1959.


Press Release, May 13, 1977, National Park Service to Conduct New Norris Home Study Next Week.

The Senator George Norris Home McCook, Nebraska: A Preliminary Study, August 1961, National Park Service, Region Two Office, Omaha, Nebraska.

Intermountain Region


Navajo National Park (proposed)Report of an area investigation trip of the Navajo country of northeastern Arizona and southwestern Utah in 1931 by Roger Toll and Minor Tillotson. With mounted photos, postcards, and road maps.


Special Site Report on Georgetown Loop Mining District Clear Creek County Colorado, submitted by San Francisco Service Center National Park Service, July 1966.

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad: A Study, National Park Service, March 1962, Region Two.

Raton Mesa Monument A Proposal, National Park Service, ca 1966.


Flathead National Park (proposed) "Special report on Flathead Range area - Montana" Frank W. Childs, forester, Adolph Murie, wildlife technician, Carroll H. Wegemann, Geologist, Carl A. Taubert, George C. Gibbs. 1937. With mounted photographs and maps.

A Proposed Lewis and Clark National Wilderness Waterway Montana, February 1962, National Park Service, Region Two.

Reconnaissance and Suitability Feasibility Study Rimrocks, Billings, Montana National Park Service, ca 1970.


Field Investigation Report Proposed Needles National Recreation Area Utah, revised August 1960, National Park Service, Region Three.

Master Plan, Steinaker Reservoir Utah, developed area narration, revised January 1965.


Preliminary Report, Proposed Sheep Mountain National Monument Big Horn County, Wyoming, September 1963, National Park Service, Midwest Region, Omaha, Nebraska.

New Mexico

Clipping: "The Proposed Mena National Park," by K.E. Merren, Outdoor America, Volume 3 number 4, November 1924.

Clipping: "Potential for a National Park: The Guadalupe," by Glenn T. Lashley, American Motorist, January 1965.

Salinas National Monument (Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivara) New Mexico, a proposal and area investigation report, National Park Service, Southwest Region, June 1964.

Advisory Board Report San Gabriel De Yunqueyunque, New Mexico, 1963.

Special Report on the Proposed National Historic Site of San Miguel Del Valdo New Mexico, by Aubrey Neasham, Region III, National Park Service, Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 1940.

Las Trampas A Special Report for the Advisory Board, March 1967, National Park Service, Southwest Regional Office.


A Report of Consideration for Converting Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park to National Park Status, prepared by Region III, National Park Service Report and Investigation by Milton J. McColm, Regional Chief and Land and Recreational Planning, June 1949.

Advisory Board Report: Fort Richardson, Texas, ca 1962.

Pacific West Region


Article on "Kelso Station: The Personal Discovery of a Park to be," by Robert Wenkam, Outdoors West, summer of 1977, pages 16 - 22.

Statement for the Advisory Board, Redwoods Study California Status Report, September 1964.

Summary Sheet, Old United States Mint San Francisco, California, Advisory Board spring meeting 1966.

Resolution Proposed United Nations Monument, California, April 19, 1967.


Map of Moanalue, Hawaii, March 1973.

Moanalua Statement of the Historical Significance of Moanalua, submitted by Moanalua Garaden Foundation, prepared by Frances MacKinnon Danon Holt and Hohn Dominis Hold, March 24, 1973, c. 1973.

Special Study Pulanihole Heiau, by Paul J.F. Schumacher, 1963.


"Escalante Way - An Opportunity for the National Park Service," American Planning and Civic Annual.

Folder on Proposed Great Basin National Park Nevada, Nevada Department of Economic Development.

Result of Field Investigations Great Basin National Park Proposal, Region Four Office, San Francisco, 1959.


Pamphlet on Hells Canyon Seven Devils Scenic Area, Forest Service USDA PA 558, March 1963.


The Oregon Dunes Siuslaw National Forest, 1970 (folder of park with map).

Sawtooth Mountain Area Study Summary, prepared jointly by the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, and National Park Service, Department of Interior, August 1965.

Folder on Oregon Dunes containing the following:

Advisory Board Statement, Proposed Oregon Dunes National Seashore, Oregon, April 21, 1966.

Press release, Legislation to Establish Oregon Dunes National Seashore Endorsed by Interior Department, July 19, 1965.

Statement of M.M. Nelson, Deputy Chief Forest Service, on H.R. 7524 before the Subcommittee, House of Representatives on July 19, 1965.

Oregon Dunes National Seashore, an analysis of S 250 submitted on Invitation by George H. Siehl at Senate Subcommittee hearings, July 20, 1965.

Statement of Senator Wayne Morse before the Senate Subcommittee on S 250, July 20, 1965.

Testimony of Dr. Spencer M. Smith, Jr. before the Senate Subcommittee, July 20, 1965.

Letter to Representative Aspinal from Secretary Udall on a bill to establish Oregon Dunes National Seashore, July 16, 1965.

Statement by Stanley A. Cain, House Subcommittee on S 250, July 1965.

Statement by Stewart L. Udall, House Subcommittee on HR 7525, July 1965.

Senate Report 1437 Oregon Dunes National Seashore, Oregon, August 1966.

Economic Report Proposed Oregon Dunes National Seashore, 1959, National Park Service, Region Four, by Dr. J. Granville Jensen, consultant.

The Oregon Dunes National Seashore Proposal, a report by the Pacific Coast Seashore Survey National Park Service, Region Four, 1959.


Statement for the Advisory Board Quinault Area Olympic National Park, September 1963.

Fort Lawton A Record, National Park Service project Report Seattle Washington, 1983. Three sections: history, photographs, and drawings.

Reformatted October 27, 1998
Added to August 2, 1999