CHAPTER FOUR: Establishment of Crater Lake National Park: 1902 A. LEGISLATIVE BILLS: 1898-1900

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

 CHAPTER FOUR: Establishment of Crater Lake National Park: 1902



The legislative struggle to establish Crater Lake National Park was renewed by Thomas H. Tongue in 1898 when he entered the House of Representatives as Oregon’s sole Congressman. On January 25 of that year he introduced a bill (H.R. 7200) that provided for

Reserving from the public lands in the State of Oregon, as a public park for the benefit of the people of the United States, and for the protection and preservation of the game, fish, timber, and all other natural objects therein, a tract of land. . . . That the tract of land bounded north by the parallel forty-three degrees four minutes north latitude, south by forty-two degrees forty-eight minutes north latitude, east by the meridian one hundred and twenty-two degrees west longitude, and west by the meridian one hundred and twenty-two degrees sixteen minutes west longitude, having an area of two hundred and forty-nine square miles, in the State of Oregon, and including Crater Lake, is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale, under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart forever as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit of the people of the United States, to be known as Crater Lake National Park.

The reservation would be under the control of the Secretary of the Interior whose duty it would be to establish regulations and take appropriate measures

for the preservation of the natural objects within said park, and also for the protection of the timber from wanton depredation, the preservation of all kinds of game and fish, the punishment of trespassers, the removal of unlawful occupants and intruders, and the prevention and extinguishment of forest fires.

It would be unlawful for any person to

establish any settlement or residence within said reserve, or to engage in any lumbering or other enterprise or business occupation therein, or to enter therein for any speculative purpose whatever, and any person violating the provisions of this Act, or the rules and regulations established thereunder, shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars and not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, and shall further be liable for all destruction of timber or other property of the United States in consequence of any such unlawful act. . . .

The reservation, however, would be open “to all scientists, excursionists, and pleasure seekers.” Furthermore, ‘restaurant and hotel keepers, upon application to the Secretary of the Interior” would be permitted “to establish places of entertainment within the Crater Lake National Park for the accommodation of visitors, at places and under regulations fixed by the Secretary of the Interior.”

The bill provided for judicial and police protection of the proposed park. The United States marshal for the Oregon district would be empowered to appoint one or more deputy marshals for the park. The deputies could live in the park, and the district and circuit courts of the United States Judicial District of Oregon would have jurisdiction over all offenses committed in the park. Upon the request of the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of War was authorized