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NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s:
Administrative History

Chapter Two: Reorganization of Park Administration
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On June 10, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6166 which, among other things, combined "all functions of public buildings, national monuments, and national cemeteries" in an Office of National Parks, Buildings, and Reservations--the renamed National Park Service. Far-reaching as this action proved to be for the National Park Service, it was not a radical innovation on Roosevelt's part. Rather, it was the culmination of a campaign to consolidate administration of all federal parks and monuments that began in the first decades of the 20th century.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 left administration of the national monuments divided among the Departments of Interior, War, and Agriculture. Almost from the passage of the act, the nation's preservationists/conservationists recognized that such a fragmentation of authority was both uneconomical and inefficient. One of the first to address the problem within the government was Frank Bond, chief clerk of the General Land office. Speaking at the National Park Conference in 1911, Bond detailed the failures of the system as it existed, and concluded that

administration of all national monuments of whatever character, or wherever located, or however secured, should be consolidated and the responsibility for their development, protection, and preservation placed where it can be made effective. [1]

Almost five years later, H.R. 15522, introduced by Congressman William Kent of California, addressed the problem outlined by Frank Bond in 1911. Section 2 of his bill to create a National Park Service provided

That the director shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior have the supervision, management, and control of the several national parks and national monuments which are now under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and of the Hot Springs Reservation in the State of Arkansas, and of such other national parks and reservations of like character as may be hereafter created by Congress. Provided, That in the supervision, management, and control of national monuments situated within or contiguous to national forests the Secretary of Agriculture may cooperate with said national-park service to such extent as may be requested by the Secretary of the Interior. [2]

Chapter Two continues with...
The National Park Service and Forest Service


Last Modified: Tues, Mar 14 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

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