44 B. Rules and Regulations

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


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CHAPTER TEN: Administration Of Crater Lake National Park: 1916-Present


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Effective May 1, 1917, the National Park Service issued a comprehensive set of regulations to govern the administration and operation of Crater Lake National Park. The regulations were established pursuant to authority conferred by acts of Congress approved on May 22, 1902 (32 Stat. 202), August 21, 1916 (39 Stat. 521), and August 25, 1916 (39 Stat. 535). The rules were grouped into four categories: general, impounding and disposition of loose livestock, location of mining claims, and automobile and motorcycle. The following topics were listed under the general category:

Preservation of natural curiosities
Private Operations
Patented Lands
Saloons and Bars
Travel on Trails
Horse-Drawn Vehicles
Employees of Concessioners
Dead Animals
Miscellaneous – Travel
Miscellaneous – General
Dogs and Cats
Fines and Penalties [23]

The following year, on May 13, 1918, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane sent a letter to NPS Director Mather, articulating a general policy statement that would provide a sound basis for administration of the National Park System. This general policy statement was based on three principles:

First — That the national parks must be maintained in absolutely unimpaired form for the use of future generations as well as those of our own time;

Second — That they are set apart for the use, observation, health and pleasure of the people;

Third — That the national interest must dictate all decisions affecting public or private enterprise in the parks.

The statement thus provided a broad framework for the management and development of Crater Lake National Park and the other units of the embryonic system. Future revisions of Crater Lake park regulations would be based on the conceptual details of park administration outlined in Lane’s letter. [24]

Each year the park rules and regulations were amended as conditions warranted. The park superintendents would forward recommended changes based on the past season s experiences to the Washington Office, which in turn would review and approve/disapprove the amendments. The regulations were posted in the park administrative office and the ranger stations, as well as area public contact offices for perusal by the public. They were also printed in various park publications such as the annual circulars. [25]

By the early 1930s the National Park Service had committed itself to standardizing the format for the regulations of each unit in the system. This called for a “complete restatement” of the Crater Lake regulations in 1932 (a copy of which may be seen in Appendix C). By the mid-1930s the complete park regulations were posted at various points in the parks, while park publications contained only a synopsis of the rules (a copy of such a synopsis for 1940 may be seen in Appendix D). [26] Such synopses would appear in park publications into the 1950s.