Nez Perce
National Historical Park

Administrative History



The conceptual plan for Nez Perce National Historical Park called for the protection of a number of scattered sites, a so-called "string of pearls," most of which would not require National Park Service ownership. The original planning group for the park recommended that the NPS acquire fee title for just three key sites at Spalding, East Kamiah, and White Bird Battlefield. [146] (Canoe Camp, a fourth NPS-owned area, was donated to the NPS by the State of Idaho in July 1966.) To ensure that the Park Service would abide by this plan (and to satisfy Idahoans who might otherwise oppose the creation of the park) Public Law 89-19 limited the purchase of land in fee to 1,500 acres and the purchase of scenic easements for an additional 1,500 acres. The total cost for these lands could not exceed $1,337,000 under the law. Other federal agencies could transfer ownership to the Park Service of another 1,500 acres. Whatever lands the Nez Perce Tribe donated to the park would not count against any of these limitations. Land acquisition would be funded by the newly created Land and Water Conservation Fund. [147]

Most of the park's original land base (that is, excluding the park additions authorized in 1994) was acquired between 1966 and 1969 (Figure 2). This chapter first summarizes the land acquisition program for the Spalding, East Kamiah, and White Bird Battlefield units. It then considers land protection issues associated with the cooperative sites. Finally, it traces the park's involvement with two national historic trails. Discussion of the park additions after 1994 is reserved for Chapter 8.

Chapter Three

Land Acquisition: Spalding Site | East Kamiah Site | White Bird Battlefield
Land Protection and the Cooperative Sites | National Historic Trails
Last Updated: 01-Jun-2000