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These areas were originally heavily forested. Note trees above line of

mud-flow which were felled by steam blast

Photos by R. S. Holway



At the request of Mr. William E. Colby, your secretary, I am glad to give you a statement for the SIERRA CLUB BULLETIN of my stewardship over the National Parks during the past year, and something of the plans that the Department of the Interior has outlined for the coming year.

The Yosemite National Park, in which the Sierra Club is more vitally interested than any of the others, has seen much interesting development during the past year. The most important has been securing and rebuilding the old Tioga Road, reaching some forty-five miles across the Park, from the west to the east side. Over $30,000 has been spent during the past season in putting this road in condition, constructing new bridges, putting in culverts, and general surfacing work. It is now passable to automobiles and is already an important link in the transcontinental travel, besides opening up portions of the Park that have hitherto been practically inaccessible to the ordinary tourist. The development of the road has been accompanied by close co-operation with State Engineer W. F. McClure. The State purchased the east and west ends of the Tioga Road and Mr. McClure promptly went ahead with the necessary work to put these sections into good condition, which made it possible to open up the whole road by the twenty-eighth of July last. In the estimates of appropriations for the coming year the Department of the Interior is asking for $75,000 for the further improvement of the Tioga Road. If Congress makes this appropriation the Department will arrange for regrading a number of points along the road, particularly at the crossing of Yosemite Creek. With the additional work which the State intends to do on their portions, the end of next season should make the Tioga road a perfect mountain highway, with grades that any car of moderate power can negotiate, and with scenery along the route that will be the equal of any in the land.

The Big Oak Flat Road has been purchased by Tuolumne County and the portion within the Park given to the United States by the county authorities. This leaves the Wawona Road as the only toll road in the Park. The State authorities are arranging for the rebuilding of the portion of the Big Oak Flat Road outside the Park, and surveys have been made for the relocation at a point where it enters the Park near the Tuolumne Grove of Big Trees. A survey has been made by State and

* The Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Stephen T. Mather, has kindly written this comprehensive statement at our request. (W. E. C.]



National authorities in co-operation, and the heavy grades along the portion of the road just west of Crane Flat will be eliminated. $20.000 is being asked for the improvement of this road for next year. Congress is also being asked for $110,000 to make the road between El Portal and the Yosemite Valley a surfaced boulevard, with a width of twenty-eight feet. If this amount is obtained, tourists will be landed in the Valley with far greater comfort than before. The Department is also asking for $4,000 for the construction of a trail to the Waterwheel Falls of the Tuolumne River, which will make these wonderful falls readily accessible from Lake Tenaya.

Concessions have been given to the Desmond Commissary Company for a new hotel to be erected in the Valley at a cost of approximately $150,000, and a new hotel at Glacier Point to cost approximately $35,000, and the establishment of at least four chalet camps in the upper Park country. One of these is to be located at Harden Lakes, from which point a view of the superb Tuolumne Cañon can readily be obtainable; another at Lake Tenaya, and one each at Lake Merced and in the Little Yosemite Valley. These are to be followed in later seasons by the establishment of additional camps for the accommodation of tourists at low rates. The Desmond Company will establish an auto service between El Portal and the Valley, as well as on the Big Oak Flat and Tioga roads. In fact, it is planned to maintain an auto service on the Tioga Road as far as the Sierra Club camp at the Soda Spring in Tuolumne Meadows. If plans under way are developed, the service will also be maintained from Tuolumne Meadows by way of Mono Lake and Bridgeport to Lake Tahoe. A good saddle and pack horse service will also be maintained between the various camps established by the Desmond Company. Camps Curry, Lost Arrow and Ahwanee in the Yosemite Valley will be maintained as heretofore.

Mr. Mark Daniels, for the past year general superintendent and landscape engineer of National Parks, has given much personal work to the development of plans for the new Yosemite Village, which will center around the new hotel to be built under the shadow of Yosemite Falls and directly across the river from the present Sentinel Hotel. Mr. Daniels is deserving of much credit for the artistic work that he has given in the development of his plan.

I want to thank the officers of the Sierra Club, particularly your president, Professor Joseph N. Le Conte, and your secretary, Mr. William E. Colby, for the assistance they have given me in working out the varied problems of this Park. Their intimate acquaintance and knowledge of the Valley have made their suggestions and recommendations of great value.

In Sequoia National Park little was done in the way of important improvements during the past year, but for the next fiscal year the Department is taking an important step in asking for an appropriation of $50,000 to be expended by the Secretary of the Interior in the purchase of private holdings in the Park. This is for the purpose of securing some of the stands of sequoias in the Giant Forest now in private ownership, provided they can be obtained at a reasonable figure. Efforts have been made in the past to appropriate for these holdings, and it is hoped that Congress this year will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to expend this proposed sum. The Department is also asking for an appropriation of $11,000 for the repair and improvement of the Mineral King Road for a distance of eleven miles across the Park. The Tulare County authorities are doing their part in improving the roads which lead to the Park entrances, and the proposed improvement of the Mineral King Road is intended to fit in with the work which they are doing.

In the Mount Rainier National Park, now under Supervisor D. L. Reaburn, a civil engineer of high standing, much has been accomplished during the past year. Supervisor Reaburn did particularly excellent work in handling the auto traffic to Paradise Park without a single mishap, and in putting the roads in excellent shape for the heavy travel which they received during the past season. During the fall Mr. Reaburn made a survey of the proposed new road along the Carbon River, which, when built, will open up a new entrance to the Park from the northwest corner. In the estimates for the next fiscal year the Department is asking for $46,000 for the construction of eight miles of this road, which would bring it up to the Carbon River Glacier, and also assist in making accessible the beautiful Spray Park which lies on the northwest flanks of the mountain.

Plans are well under way for a new camp hotel to be constructed in Paradise Park at the opening of the season of 1916, and much of the material is already on the ground. The Department also expects to construct next season a shelter at Camp Muir, so that the mountain climbers will have a refuge at this important point on the way to the summit.

In the Yellowstone National Park the most important event during the past year was the opening of the Park on August 1 to automobiles. Nearly 1,000 machines visited the Park, operating under schedule which did not bring them in contact with the horse-drawn stages. During the coming year it is expected that a number of camps for the benefit of automobilists will be established at important points throughout the Park, and an effort will be made to develop the Cody, or eastern, entrance of the Park, and, if feasible, an automobile stage service will be established from this entrance to connect with horse-drawn stages at Yellowstone Lake.

The road construction and repairs in the Yellowstone National Park are carried on by the Engineer Corps of the Army, and the War Department is asking for next year a total appropriation of $292,000. This will be used largely in further improvement of the roads, and particularly in surfacing the portion of the road from the Gardiner entrance with oil and macadam. Under Major Fries of the Army nearly $200,000 was expended during the past year, and the roads in the Yellowstone Park are now in far better shape than ever before. Nearly all the old wooden bridges and culverts have been replaced by concrete, and the roadways straightened and widened.

In the Crater Lake National Park the Army engineers are also in charge of road construction, and during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915, expended a total of $122,000. This work has made accessible to tourists a number of very interesting views of the lake along the rim, and has resulted in good roads being built to all the important entrances in the Park. The War Department is asking for $100,000 for the next fiscal year, to be used largely in surfacing the roads already completed. The hotel which has been in course of erection for some seasons is now practically finished, and if plans which the supervisor of the Park is actively pushing for a new road from Medford to the western entrance of the Park are worked out by the State authorities, Crater Lake will be accessible next season more fully than it ever has before.

The Rocky Mountain National Park was opened this summer and had its dedication last August under the chairmanship of Enos Mills, which was very largely attended. The State of Colorado, and the city of Denver in particular, has taken a keen interest in the development of this, the most eastern of our National Parks, and it is expected that from its accessibility the number of tourists visiting it will be much larger than visit any of the other parks.

In the Glacier National Park the most important development during the past year was the opening up of the new Many Glaciers Hotel at Lake McDermott. Appropriations are being asked for a total of about $45,000 to improve the roads on the east side of the Park, making these new improvements more easy of access to tourists. Congress is also being asked to appropriate $45,000 for the construction of a road along Lake McDermott, at the foot of Gunsight Pass, with the ultimate plan that a good automobile road will be built across Gunsight Pass to connect up the east and west sides of the Park,

I feel that all of the friends of the National Parks are to be congratulated in securing the services of Mr. R. B. Marshall, former chief geographer and head of the topographic branch of the Geological Survey, who now becomes superintendent of National Parks, succeeding Mr. Mark Daniels, whose personal business made it necessary for him to resign this important post. Mr. Marshall has been closely in touch with National Park work for many years and will give his close personal attention to the development of the parks. One important plan which is now under way and which will help materially in increasing an interest in the parks is the proposed Park-to-Park Highway, intended to link up the leading National Parks by good roads. Already much has been done towards the work of connecting up the Rocky Mountains and the Yellowstone National Parks by way of the Cody entrance to the latter. The people of Wyoming and Colorado are co-operating heartily on this project and every indication points to the completion of this road by next

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