01 Preface

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


This administrative history has been prepared to satisfy in part the research needs as stated in the task directive (approved by Acting Pacific Northwest Regional Director William J. Briggle in a memorandum dated July 15, 1986) concerning Crater Lake National Park, Administrative History under Package No. 245. The purpose of this study is the collection, presentation, and evaluation of historical research data pertaining to the conception, establishment, and operation of Crater Lake National Park from 1902 to the present. Several early chapters in the study cover the period of discovery and exploration of Crater Lake and its management as part of the Cascade Range Forest Reserve (1893-1902). It is intended that this study will provide a knowledge of the problems faced and actions taken by past park managers, thus providing present and future park administrators with a more informed background about the successes, failures, and recurring issues of the past and greater awareness for administrative decision-making.

A number of persons have assisted in the preparation of this report. Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian, and Barry Mackintosh, Bureau Historian, both of the National Park Service’s Washington Office (WASO), provided direction for the project and made available to me WASO files on the park. Special thanks are due to Pacific Northwest Regional Office (PNWO) Director Charles H. Odegaard and PNWO Regional Historian Stephanie Toothman for sharing their ideas on the nature of research required for the project and making available the regional office files for research purposes. My appreciation also extends to Superintendent Robert E. Benton, Chief of Interpretation Kent Taylor, and Park Curator Jerry McCrea for helping me to understand the park administrative research needs and expectations for this report, making available the extensive park library and museum collections for research purposes, conducting me on a tour of the park, and providing the names of persons to interview and repositories to consult during my research.

In addition, my thanks go to the staffs of the various repositories I visited. These include: Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado; Main Library, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon; Harpers Ferry Center, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Southern Oregon Historical Society, Jacksonville, Oregon; Klamath County Museum, Klamath Falls, Oregon; Jackson County Library, Medford, Oregon; Josephine County Library, Grants Pass, Oregon; Klamath County Library, Klamath Falls, Oregon; Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon; Douglas County Library, Roseburg, Oregon; Oregon State Library, Salem, Oregon; Federal Records Centers, National Archives and Records Administration, San Bruno, California, and Seattle, Washington; Henry Suzallo Library, University of Washington, Seattle; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; and Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

One of the unexpected benefits of undertaking this study has been the opportunity to contact a number of persons who have been involved with the operation of Crater Lake National Park. I am indebted to all those who allowed me to interview them either in person or by telephone.

My thanks also go to G. Frank Williss who began this project and conducted the initial discussions relating to the scope and research needs for the study. John Latschar, Section Chief, Branch of Planning, Western Team, Denver Service Center provided encouragement and administrative oversight for the project.

Harlan D. Unrau
September 1987