National Park Service: The First 75 Years
Biographical Vignettes
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Gilbert H. Grosvenor

                                          by Warren Bielenberg

Gilbert H. Grosvenor
(Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Gilbert Grosvenor is best known as president of the National Geographic Society and long-time editor of the National Geographic Magazine. A noted geographer and world traveler, Grosvenor's first trip to the western United States was on Mather's "Big Trip" to Sequoia National Park and the High Sierras in 1915. Affectionately called the "Tenderfoot" by other party members, Grosvenor was so overwhelmed by the grandeur of the High Sierras and his experience on the trip that he became a revered and long-time friend of Mather and the national parks.

Following his return from the "Trip," Grosvenor provided $20,000 of National Geographic Society funds to supplement a $50,000 congressional appropriation to buy Giant Forest and add it to Sequoia National Park. In late 1915 and 1916, Grosvenor met with Mather, Albright, and others to develop the substance of the NPS Organic Act. He dedicated the April 1916 issue of National Geographic Magazine to the national parks to further promote the values of park resources to the American public. Horace Albright ensured that every member of Congress received a copy of the April edition as the Organic Act legislation was being considered.

Following the establishment of the National Park Service, Grosvenor's support and love for the Service continued. The Society's interest in protecting the Katmai volcanic crater and Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes from mining exploitation led to the establishment of Katmai National Monument in 1918. Over the years, articles in the magazine have continued to educate the public to the values found in national parks and the need to protect additional lands for future generations.

From National Park Service: The First 75 Years


Last Modified: March 27 2017 02:00:00 pm EDT

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