CHAPTER TWELVE: Resource Management: 1916-Present D. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: 1950s-1960s

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



Resource management issues during the 1950s and 1960s remained similar to those of earlier years. The park continued to have bear problems in the postwar years. In response to a request from the

regional director in San Francisco Superintendent Leavitt in February 1951 reported on the issue and park efforts to eliminate the trouble. Leavitt listed a number of ways in which park management had attempted to meet the problem, “all of which have been partially successful but none of which have been as successful as we might wish.” These efforts included:

1. Education of government, concessioner, and contractor employees and park visitors against feeding bears by hand or from cars

2. Education of campers in protecting food supplies

3. Efforts to discourage bears by daily removal of garbage, particularly late in the afternoon

4. Placement of garbage containers at government residences inside of buildings

Leavitt recommended that the park staff be permitted to give a citation with penalty to anyone feeding the bears. [44]

The park’s bear policies were generally consistent with the wildlife policy as stated in the NPS Administrative Manual developed in the 1950s. That policy read:

The animals indigenous to the parks shall be protected, restored if practicable, and their welfare in a natural wild state perpetuated. Their management shall consist only of measures conforming with the basic laws and which are essential to the maintenance of populations and their natural environments in a healthy condition. [45]

In line with that policy park management, after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Montana Department of Fish and Game, purchased in 1959 a “Cap-chur” gun and necessary accessories and drugs to experiment with removing troublesome bears rather than by trapping. [46]

The issue of fishing and fish planting at Crater Lake had become a subject of intense debate by 1958. As a result O.L. Wallis, an aquatic biologist, undertook a study to determine whether the lake should be restocked to improve fishing or whether sole reliance should be placed upon the limited natural reproduction of rainbow trout and kokanee salmon to maintain limited sport fishing.