Plan – 01 Background

Visitor Services Plan, Crater Lake National Park



The Crater Lake Visitor Services Plan presents optimal levels and kinds of concession and interpretive services desired at the park, and it sets the terms for the new concession contract. The current 30-year concession contract for the provision of commercial services at Crater Lake National Park expired in October 1997. The park is operating under an extension to that contract until it expires on October 31, 1999. However, that contract will be extended through October 3 1, 2001. At that time a new 15-year contract will be awarded to a concessioner. In November 1997 a Draft Visitor Services Plan/Environmental Impact Statement was prepared. This plan presented five alternatives for public review and comment. In May 1998 an abbreviated Final Visitor Services Plan /Environmental Impact Statement was prepared and distributed. In July 1998 a “Record of Decision” was issued that approved, with a few changes, the proposed action alternative from the draft and final plans. The goal of the approved action was to enhance resource protection and visitor appreciation of the park.


The 30-year concession contract with Crater Lake Lodge, Inc., expired on October 31, 1997. The National Park Service is developing prospectus for a new long-term contract that will require the concessioner to implement the provisions of this Visitor Services Plan. However, the Park Service will retain the right under the concession contract to amend this plan in the future as it deemed appropriate. The adoption of the Visitor Services Plan (decision document), not the award and execution of the new concession contract, is the federal action that would result in the environmental impacts described in the Draft and Final Visitor Services Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. Execution of the new concession contract will implement and authorize concession projects proposed in this plan. Additionally, the concession contract awardee will be subject to actions to be called for in other ongoing NPS planning activities when they are finalized and adopted.

This document presents the revised final approved plan for the four main developed areas of the park – Rim Village, Mazama Village, Cleetwood, and Munson Valley (see Vicinity and Project Area maps). However, this document does not include the issues and concerns that were developed during the planning process, the other alternatives considered, the impacts of implementing the proposed plan and alternatives, or a description of the environment that will be affected. If interested in these topics, readers should refer to the 1997 Draft Visitor Services Plan /Environmental Impact Statement.

A 1994 wilderness proposal recommended 98% of Crater Lake National Park for wilderness designation. Because wilderness designation generally precludes commercial visitor services and some of the interpretive services provided by the National Park Service, this plan only applies to areas excluded from the 1994 wilderness proposal. All but 840 acres of these areas consist of road corridors, utility lines, and administrative sites that lack water, power, or related infrastructure. The scope of this planning effort was therefore confined to the four developed areas in the park that currently provide facilities and some level of visitor services – Rim Village, Mazama Village, Cleetwood, and park headquarters at Munson Valley.