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This service has proven very satisfactory to the traveling public, especially the summer just past, as it would have been a physical impossibility to handle the volume of travel that went over this road with the old horse-drawn stages.


The department has acquired title to that portion of the Tioga Road lying within Yosemite National Park. This road has been rehabilitated this summer and was formally opened on the 28th of July to the public. The opening of this road makes accessible that portion of the park known as the High Sierras and has opened up a section that is extremely beautiful and traverses the park in an easterly and westerly direction. The department's acquiring the Tioga Road has met with great public favor, and when same has been put in good condition it will be the most popular pass for transcontinental tourists through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as being a favorite trip for local automobiles.

The department has also acquired title to that portion of the Big Oak Flat Road lying within Yosemite National Park, and improvement of same is now in progress. In the past this road has been operated by private owners as a toll road. Its acquisition by the Government makes this a free road and is one of the shortest and most practical, as well as being one of the easiest grades, of any road entering Yosemite Valley.


During the year 1914 a topography map was started by the surveyors from the Office of Public Roads of the Agricultural Department, under the charge of Mr. T. Warren Allen, showing the topographical conditions on a section of the floor of Yosemite Valley. This survey was made so as to show buildings, trails, roads, and bridges on a scale that could be used for working drawings in planning further improvements. This map was compiled in this office.

It became evident during the first days of the life of this office that a comprehensive plan for the road and trail development of all of the national parks was an essential, to the end that the habit of building disconnected bits of roads and trails might be stopped. Plans for the complete road and trail systems for each of the five national parks were then drawn in preliminary form. The parks thus covered were Yosemite, Crater Lake, Rainier, Glacier, and Sequoia.


Using the topographic map above referred to, an exhaustive study was made of conditions on the floor of Yosemite Valley with the intention of relieving the congested condition around the present village. As a result, three plans were drawn in the course of the studies made.

In addition to the village plan, studies were made for the new hotel to be constructed on the floor of the valley. Plans were also drawn for the new hotel to be constructed at Glacier Point, together with tentative studies for 12 village buildings.

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In conjunction with the work done on the replanning of the village, an entire new plan of operation for the concessions in Yosemite National Park was considered. This plan contemplated the granting of a concession to a large operator who would build a hotel of sufficient size to accommodate the demands on the floor of the valley, a smaller hotel at Glacier Point, and 15 mountain inns in the High Sierra in the park, to be built at the rate of three inns each year. Several attempts have been made in the past to secure a concessionaire who would perform this service, but all had been unsuccessful, due to the fact that certain terms could not be agreed upon. The terms considered in this plan were on a profit-sharing basis, the concessionaire under the terms of this arrangement to receive a permit of 20 years' duration and to share the net profits of his concession with the Federal Government. This plan of sharing profits will overcome the difficulty of establishing a graduated scale of charges, thereby making it possible to grant a long-term permit.

With a large hotel on the floor of the valley, a new one on Glacier Point, and a chain of mountain inns throughout the park so spaced that they will be within easy walking distance of one another, it will be possible for those of small financial means to see the entire park to an extent that is now denied them.

In addition to this, the adoption of the village plan will do away with the unsightly buildings that now mar the scenery and will establish a village properly planned, comprising buildings of carefully studied architecture.

The above paragraphs have dealt with work originating in this office. The remainder of the work done in this office will be segregated under the headings of the parks for which the work was done.


In addition to the work above outlined, plans and specifications for the new El Capitan Bridge over the Merced River were prepared in this office, and the bridge constructed under contract for the sum of $2,965.

Pla were lso drawn for a new bridge over the Merced River in the vicinity of the present village, which plans are now being considered by bidders.

Plans and specifications were drawn for ranger cabins in the Yosemite National Park, three of which were built at a total cost of $2,990.

In December, 1914, new regulations for the park ranger force were drawn and promulgated by the Secretary. In conformance with these regulations a uniform was designed and insignia of the officers selected. The park rangers in Yosemite National Park are now uniformed according to regulation, and the organization of the park ranger force under the new regulations has been perfected and has demonstrated the merits of the steps taken.


Plans were begun on the new village for Crater Lake National Park in the year 1915. The work done under this plan comprised studies in architectural character, together with an investigation of

the most feasible method of laying out roads for the circulation of traffic.

In addition to this work, a tour of inspection was made, together with a study of the road and trail system in this park.


A tour of inspection was made of this park in the late summer of 1914, and the needs of roads, trails, and other developments carefully considered. Plans and specifications were drawn for a ranger cabin to be built of stone in the vicinity of the ruins of Spruce Tree House.


The work in this office on this park has been confined to the purchasing of materials and planning of the road and trail system which followed as a result of a more or less prolonged inspection of the park.


Trips of investigation have been made to Sequoia National Park, and a system of roads and trails planned. A survey has also been made (finished in June, 1915) of the Mineral King Road, which traverses the park, together with a survey and location of the proposed changes necessary to make this road practical and passable to motor-propelled and other vehicles.



The following recommendations are based upon the assumption that it is the Secretary's desire to hold the general superintendent and landscape engineer responsible for the work in the national parks and that the general superintendent should in turn hold the officers in the parks responsible to him.

The general superintendent should have the authority to employ or dismiss any men in the service, and that suspension should remain effective until revoked by the Secretary.

Allotments from the annual appropriations should be made in the general supperintendent's office after a general plan for the expenditure of money has been submitted to the Secretary and approved.

I recommend that the general superintendent be given authority to enter into contracts for construction work as well as for the purchase of materials by contract in accordance with the general scheme of expenditures approved by the Secretary.

This office has purchased all supplies for Yosemite, Sequoia, and General Grant National Parks since April 1, 1915. Considerable saving has been accomplished by purchasing in San Francisco rather than through local dealers in the neighborhood of the parks. Some purchasing has also been done for other parks west of the Rocky Mountains, and in some instances from 15 to 25 per cent has been saved. I recommend that this system of purchasing and the forms

used be adopted and the practice extended throughout the various parks wherever practicable.

In order that the general superintendent may be thoroughly familiar with the phases of the work for which he is held responsible, it is my opinion that correspondence from the parks should be addressed to the general superintendent, or through him to the Secretary, and, likewise, all communications that have to do with operations in the parks should be forwarded from the department through the general superintendent to the parks.

I recommend that all regulations and instructions to be enforced in the parks be promulgated from the general superintendent's office.

It is impossible to accomplish economical management of the parks without the aid of a practical working unit cost-keeping system. Such a system has been installed in the Yosemite National Park and is producing most satisfactory results. I recommend that this system be extended to each and every other national park. This will involve the taking of an inventory on the physical assets in each park such as was taken in Yosemite. This work should also be carried on in other parks.

The title of general superintendent and landscape engineer of national parks carries with it two distinct and separate classes of duties. There is sufficient work under each of these two titles to keep one man very busy throughout the year. It is not humanly possible for one man to act in the capacity of general superintendent and landscape engineer and perform the duties that each of these two titles require. I recommend, therefore, that the title be split and two officers appointed for this work-a general superintendent and a landscape engineer.

Perhaps the most important work that can be carried on in this. office is the planning of improvements in the various parks, and I strongly urge that the work that has begun in the way of planning new villages for the Yosemite and Crater Lake National Parks be continued in the remaining parks where such work is needed.

Several attempts have been made to establish by an act of Congress a national park service, and there can be no doubt in the minds of those who are familiar with the problems of administering our national parks that such a service is seriously needed. I would urge that every effort be made to secure the enactment of a law that will establish the national park service on a firm footing.

The title of superintendent in any national park should be dispensed with and a title of supervisor should indicate the officer in immediate charge of the park, as the title of superintendent is confusing with the title of general superintendent.



The steps that have been taken for the erection of the new hotel on the floor of the valley and another at Glacier Point, and a chain of mountain inns throughout the park, will undoubtedly bring a materially increased travel. To prepare for this, more road and trail construction work in the park is necessary. The road from El Portal

to the valley should be widened and properly surfaced. The road on the north side of the valley from Pohona Bridge to the new hotel site should be surfaced. That portion of the road on the south side of the valley which is now a dirt road should be surfaced. A new bridge should be erected in place of the present Sentinel Bridge, which has several times been condemned and which is now not strong enough to carry passenger trucks.

When the village on the north side of the river is completed it will be necessary to erect new barns and headquarters for the Government employees and stock. There is also a crying need for a new administrative building. The old building occupied at present by the superintendent is insanitary and rapidly falling to pieces.

It is recommended that three motor-driven power sprinkling trucks be purchased for use in sprinkling the roads in Yosemite National Park, as the cost of sprinkling the roads in this park by horse-drawn sprinklers is entirely too high. For the months of May, June, July, and August, 1915, 6,162 miles of roads were sprinkled in this park, at an average cost of 93 cents per mile. The reason for this apparent high cost is that horse hire and forage for the subsistence of stock is very high. The average cost per horse-day for the months of May, June, July, and August was $1.07. By installing motor-driven sprinkling trucks and making some slight improvements in the water system this expense could be reduced 50 per cent.

The purchase of the Tioga Road has widened the activities of the park ranger force, and this force should be augmented to control the travel.

The park rangers in the Yosemite Park have no headquarters of their own in the valley. A ranger barrack should be erected, in which will be lockers for each ranger. A stable should be constructed in conjunction with the barrack where the park rangers called to the valley for special duty may stable and feed their horses.

An information bureau has been in operation for a few months during the season of 1915 and has met with enthusiastic approval on the part of the public. This bureau gives information direct to the tourists regarding the condition of the roads, trails, and all other information desired in a way that is not biased by local prejudice. I strongly urge that a system of local information bureaus operated by the department be adopted in all of the parks and continued in Yosemite National Park.

A collection of stuffed birds and animals indigenous to the area covered by Yosemite National Park has been started, and the same is being placed on exhibition in the bureau of information. The exhibits are supplied through Dr. Joseph Grinnell, director of the museum of vertebrate zoology of the University of California. Some of the park rangers have been instructed by Dr. Grinnell and his assistants in the securing and stuffing of the birds and animals. The work done to date has aroused considerable public interest and has met with enthusiastic appreciation.

A collection of wild flowers is also being completed and placed on exhibition. With each flower is a water-color drawing showing the true color of the flower. This work is being carried on through the park ranger force and the bureau of information.

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