CHAPTER TWELVE: Resource Management: 1916-Present B. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 1930-1942

Crater Lake National Park: Administrative History by Harlan D. Unrau and Stephen Mark, 1987

 CHAPTER TWELVE: Resource Management In Crater Lake National Park: 1916-Present



From 1930 to 1942, when World War II began to have a major impact on park operations, resource management concerns, except for forestry insect control programs, appeared to become secondary to other emphases such as development and construction. Park. management continued various programs, however, to promote the increase of park wildlife. Efforts were made to attract wildlife, such as deer, to visitor use areas, one example being the placement of brick salt at Anna Spring, park headquarters, and Rim Village in 1930. [19]

Park. management continued to monitor and encourage wildlife activities at Crater Lake during the 1930s. In the early years of the decade the Park Service began compiling estimated wildlife censuses for the parks. The earliest such census for Crater Lake that research uncovered was for 1932. That year it was estimated that big game animals in the park included 19 elk, 60 mule deer, 250 black-tailed deer, 2 antelope, and 40 black bears. [20] Later in the decade the park began preparing annual wildlife reports which consisted of estimates of various species and observations on their habitat and migratory patterns. The earliest such report that research uncovered was for 1940. In that year estimates of wildlife in the park included 10 badgers, 50 black bears, 2 cascade bobcats, 5 mountain coyotes, 80 black-tailed deer, 25 mule deer, 6 white-tail deer, 6 Rocky Mountain elk, 10 Cascade red foxes, and 30 porcupines. [21]

By the late 1930s bear-visitor problems had become endemic at Crater Lake and other national parks, thus leading to increased concern for visitor protection and safety. As a result Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes issued a systemwide regulation forbidding the public to feed bears. In accordance with the new policy NPS Director Arno B. Cammerer wrote a letter to Superintendent Leavitt on March 24, 1938, urging him to initiate publicity and educational park programs to encourage the public to stay away from the bears. He urged modification or elimination of bear shows at dump sites by park personnel and shipment of troublesome bears to outside agencies. [22]

Park management continued to ensure good fishing prospects in the lake and other streams during the 1930s. In October 1929 some 7,000 fingering trout from the State Fish Hatchery at Butte Falls were planted in the lake and streams, making fishing in the lake and Sun Creek exceptionally good during the 1930 season. [23] During the fall of 1931 some 200,000 fingerling rainbow trout and salmon silversides were planted in the lake and some 40,000 in smaller streams in the western and central portions of the park, thus making fishing in Crater Lake, according to Superintendent Solinsky, “superior to any location in the vicinity, including both Diamond Lake and Lake of the Woods.” [24]

Fish planting became one of the responsibilities of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) programs at Crater Lake during the 1930s. In 1935-36, for instance, ECW personnel planted more than 100,000 fingerling trout in the lake and some 75,000 fingerlings in park streams. [25] The following year Superintendent Canfield reported that Crater Lake had “strengthened its reputation as being one of the choice fishing spots in the west,” there being frequent reports of limit catches which had been raised to twelve trout. [26]

Forest insect control continued to be a prime focus of Crater Lake resource management efforts during the 1930s. After 1929 the threat of the bark beetle epidemic waned on unprotected forest areas at Crater Lake. Park. management adopted a plan of mopping up all epidemic centers within the park and on national forest lands within a 15-20-mile radius of the park. With the extension of this program the control results on the protected areas improved. This change of program increased the number of trees treated annually from some 3,700 trees before 1929 to an average of 16,800 trees during the early 1930s. Among the areas treated during the early 1930s were Anna Creek., Castle Creek, Sun Creek., and Mount Scott in the park and Sand Creek in Umpqua National Forest. [27]