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Mount Abbott from Mono Pass. This pass, a few miles from John Muir Trail, is on the old route from the
San Joaquin basin to Owens Valley
Colby Meadow, a beautiful camp-site on Evolution Creek ALONG THE ROUTE OF JOIIN MUIR TRAIL
Photos by Paul G. Redington
tional Park; in Yosemite National Park, over the Coulterville Road from the Merced Grove of Big Trees into Yosemite Valley, over the Wawona Road leading to the Mariposa Big Tree Grove, and over the Big Oak Flat Road; and in the Yellowstone National Park, over a road in the northwestern section of the park not in general use, for the special accommodation of people of Gallatin County, Mont.
During the past season the generally traveled roads in Yellowstone National Park were opened to motor-driven vehicles, operated for pleasure purposes only, under strict regulations which became effective on August 1, 1915.
The opening during the year of Yellowstone National Park to automobiles used for pleasure purposes has been much appreciated by the traveling public. They were operated under a very carefully worked out schedule which has proved to be highly satisfactory.
This park was visited during the season by 958 cars, carrying 3513 people, which points to a much fuller enjoyment of the wonders in this park by motorists in 1916. The total receipts from automobiles and motor cycles in all the parks were $42,589.73 in 1915, as against $14,243.07 in 1914.
The extremely rapid development of motoring throughout the country, and its enjoyment by people of all degrees of income, has led to an active policy of road extension in all the national parks. An example is the acquisition and improvement of the old Tioga Road through the Yosemite National Park, establishing another highway over the Sierras.
Private holdings: The administration of affairs in all of the national parks, with the exception of the Yellowstone, General Grant, Platt, Wind Cave, and Sullys Hill, is considerably embarrassed by the fact that within the respective boundaries are many patented lands and some toll roads. These private holdings are as follows: Yosemite National Park, 19,827 acres; Sequoia National Park, 3,716.96 acres; Crater Lake National Park, 1337 acres, and 1,121.11 acres of unperfected claims; Mesa Verde National Park, 875 acres and 118 acres unperfected claims; Mount Rainier National Park, 18.2 acres; and Glacier National Park, 8,864.40 acres of patented lands and 7,803.71 acres of unperfected claims.
The majority of these lands, including the Mineral King Road in Sequoia National Park, and the Coulterville and Wawona toll roads in Yosemite National Park, should be acquired by the Government. During the year, through the instrumentality of Mr. Stephen T. Mather, assistant to the Secretary, the title by donation to portions of the “Great Sierra wagon and toll road” (also known as the Tioga Road) and the portions of the “Big Oak Flat and Yosemite Toll roads," within the limits of Yosemite National Park, were transferred to the United States, such donations being accepted by the Secretary of the Interior under the provisions of the sundry civil act of March 3, 1915, authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to accept patented lands or rights of way, whether over patented or other lands, in Yosemite National Park that may be donated for park purposes.
Congress, by the act approved April 9, 1912 (37 Stat., 80), authorized the Secretary of the Interior, for the purpose of eliminating private holdings within the Yosemite National Park and to preserve intact the natural timber along the roads in the scenic portions of the park, both on patented and park lands, in his discretion, to obtain by exchange complete title to any and all of the lands within the boundaries of the park held in private ownership. Among other things it was provided that the value of patented lands within the park offered in the exchange and the value of timber on park lands proposed to be given in the exchange should be ascertained in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior might direct
The subject was taken up with the Yosemite Lumber Co., which has a large area of patented lands in the park, principally along the Wawona Road, and it was found that an exchange could not be made, for the reason that the value of the lands owned by the company with the timber thereon was far in excess of the timber on the park lands, and Congress, by the act approved April 16, 1914 (38 Stat., 345), amended section 1 of the act of 1912 so as to authorize the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, for the purpose of eliminating private holdings in said park and preserving the timber along the roads adjoining the scenic portions thereof on patented lands, to obtain and accept for the United States a complete title to any and all patented lands within the boundaries of the park “by the exchange of timber or timber and lands within the Yosemite National Park and the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests for such lands and the timber thereon within the park.”
Under this legislation the matter was taken up with the Yosemite Lumber Co., and a contract was entered into on January 18, 1915, between it and the department under which the Government is to give timber and timber lands in Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest to that corporation in exchange for lands and timber owned by it in the park and forest, the exchange values in each case to be equal. This contract is now being carried into effect under supervision of the representatives of the department in the park.
The act of Congress approved May 13, 1914 (38 Stat., 376), for the purpose of preserving scenic features and consolidating certain forest lands belonging to the United States within the Sierra National Forest and the Yosemite National Park, Cal., authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture"and after obtaining and accepting for the Government of the United States a valid title to the land to be acquired, which title shall be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, to exchange lands belonging to the United States within the Sierra National Forest for privately owned timberlands of approximately equal area lying within the boundaries of said national forest and the Yosemite National Park."
Under this statute an exchange of lands has been consummated which will result in the addition of 160 acres of land to the park.
Jurisdiction: The United States has exclusive jurisdiction over the lands in Yellowstone Park within the State of Wyoming and also over the lands within Glacier National Pa Mont., and Platt National Park, Okla., and Congress has provided a means of enforcement of the laws and regulations pertaining thereto. In the other national parks, however, over which the laws of the States in which they are located obtain, great difficulties in administration have been encountered, owing to the fact that the department has no jurisdiction to punish offenses in violation of the regulations relating thereto, and especially in the matter of preventing depredations on game and the selling of liquor therein.
Conservation of wild animal life: The national parks, free as most of them are from all public lumbering and private grazing enterprises, and protected by law from hunting of any kind, alone have the seclusion and other conditions essential for the protection and propagation of wild animal life. Eventually they will become great public nature schools to which teachers and students of animal life will repair yearly for investigation and study.
The enormous increase of wild animals in the Yellowstone since it became a national park in 1872 points the way. Deer, elk, moose, bison and antelope here abound in greater numbers no doubt than before the days of the white man, and many of them have become almost as fearless of man as animals in captivity. From here many State, county and city parks have been supplied, under proper restrictions, with surplus animals for propagation purposes. When interfering private holdings are extinguished in other national parks and United States laws made to supersede State laws, these, too, will become centers of animal preservation as effective as the Yellowstone.
Increasing park areas: Congress so carefully cut the boundaries of national parks to the express purpose for which each was created that, in some instances, scenic features of the very first order were excluded. In the careful study which the department has since made of each such territory it has become apparent that, in several instances, outlying territory should be added to these reservations. The most distinguished of these instances is Sequoia National Park, the boundaries of which should be extended to include the superb Kings Cañon on the north and on the east the Kern Cañon and the west slope and summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain under the American flag; also other instances are the Continental Divide for a few miles south of the new Rocky Mountain National Park, together with several small outlying features of extraordinary beauty.
New national parks: Of the 10 or more scenic neighborhoods claiming national-park status the most distinguished is the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, now classed as a national monument. This is one of the greatest natural show places of the world. It demands and should have immediate recognition and development as a national park.
Other proposed national parks have scenic value and availability of
high degree and will be considered as they come prominently before Congress through the desires and activities of the people of their respective States. It is the policy of the department not to actively seek the creation of new national parks but to develop and administer all such reservations accepted by Congress and intrusted to its care.
General superintendent of national parks: Mr. Mark Daniels, general superintendent and landscape engineer of the national parks under this department, made inspections during the year of the Mesa Verde, Platt and Wind Cave national parks, and the Hot Springs Reservation; supervised the enforcement of the regulations in the parks, the laying out of roads and trails, designing of buildings and structures, and the planning of general improvements; provided for the establishment of a unit cost-keeping system in the Yosemite National Park which has resulted in considerable saving, supervised the construction of a concrete bridge in the Mount Rainier National Park, and wooden bridges in the Yosemite National Park, and supplied plans and specifications for several different types of concrete bridges for other parks; replanned the road sprinkling system in Yosemite, established an automobile schedule therein, designed a complete road and trail system for five of the parks, prepared plans for a new village in Yosemite, installed a purchasing branch for the several national parks in San Francisco and purchased through the same materials for most of the western parks, and gave attention to many other details of park administration.
EXTRACTS FROM REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE CRATER LAKE
NATIONAL PARK, 1915
During the season of 1915 Crater Lake Lodge was opened to the public and is located directly on the rim of the lake, nearly 1000 feet above the water, where comfortable quarters are available for guests. The lodge is a cut-stone building containing about 60 rooms, some of which contain hot and cold water and other conveniences. During the season of 1916 it is proposed to build along the entire front of this building, over 100 feet, a 16-foot porch and pergola, from which one can look directly into the lake, nearly 1000 feet below.
TUNNEL TO THE LAKE
From Crater Lake Lodge to the lake is a drop of nearly 1000 feet, and to reach the lake a trail of 2300 feet is provided. Owing to the rugged nature of the rim, this trail is necessarily steep and hard to climb, and many visitors are unable to go over it, so that they are denied the privilege of fishing or boating on the lake. This condition of affairs is a disappointment to many visitors and some sort of provision should be made to overcome it. A lift or other installation within the rim is wholly impracticable, for the reason that every spring enormous slides