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NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




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

Chapter Three: Impact of the New Deal on the National Park Service
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The year 1933 served as a watershed in the development of the National Park Service. Not only did the reorganization in that year substantially increase and diversify the areas administered by the bureau, but the variety of New Deal emergency work relief programs that were passed provided the Service with a massive infusion of personnel and funds to accomplish long-term development projects in the parks that had been contemplated for more than a decade but that had been postponed because regular appropriations and manpower had only been sufficient to meet immediate requirements. Throughout the 1930s various New Deal programs and agencies continued to provide funding and personnel to the National Park Service for a wide variety of park-related development projects with the result that developments in the national, state, county, and municipal parks were carried forward fifteen to twenty years ahead of schedule had regular manpower and appropriations been relied upon.

Regular appropriations for the administration, protection, and maintenance of the national parks and monuments increased from $10,820,620 in fiscal year 1933 to $26,959,977.29 in 1939 before being drastically reduced to $13,557,815 with the onset of war in Europe in fiscal year 1940. [1] Skyrocketing emergency relief and public works appropriations during that time underwrote much of the Park Service's expansion and park-development projects. From 1933 to 1937, for example, the Park Service received emergency appropriations amounting to $40,242,691.97 from the Public Works Administration (PWA), $24,274,090.89 from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), $82,250,467.66 from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and $2,490,678 from the Civil Works Administration (CWA). By 1940 the bureau had received some $218,000,000 for emergency conservation projects compared to some $132,000,000 in regular appropriations during the same period. [2] In its response to the urgencies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's domestic program, exemplified by its active participation in the CCC program and collaboration with New Deal agencies that funded public works construction, the bureau's programs became an integral part of the New Deal's fight against the depression. Almost all federal conservation activities after 1933, including those in the national parks and monuments, were designed in part as pump-priming operations that would not only protect our national resources but also indirectly stimulate the economy. [3] This chapter will summarize the accomplishments and impact on the National Park Service of the five principal New Deal emergency relief and public works agencies during the 1930s--Emergency Conservation Work Organization (ECW) that directed the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Public Works Administration (PWA), the Civil Works Administration, and the Works Progress Administration.

Chapter Three continues with...
Emergency Conservation Work--Civilian Conservation Corps


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

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