23 D. Appropriations: 1902-1916

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


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CHAPTER FIVE: General Administrative Considerations for Crater Lake National Park: 1902-1916


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Appropriations for Crater Lake National Park remained small and barely adequate to maintain park operations during the 1902-16 period. Congress allocated annual sums of only $2,000 for fiscal years 1902, 1903, and 1904, thus forcing the park to operate at a bare minimum subsistence level without sufficient funds for necessary improvements or protection services. Appropriations for the park increased to $3,000 per year during 1905-07. After the park received an extraordinarily generous appropriation of $7,315 in 1908, annual appropriations for the years 1909-13 were again lowered to $3,000. [6]

The low level of appropriations prevented necessary development and effective administration and protection of the park. The lack of adequate park funding was a continuing source of irritation to Superintendents Arant and Steel. In September 1911, for instance, Arant reported on the needs of the park at the National Park Conference held in Yellowstone:

Now, referring again to the matter of appropriations for the Crater Lake National Park, I would say that with a sufficient amount appropriated for the purpose there would be no difficulty in maintaining a good administration over the affairs of the reserve. The appropriations that are made are for the protection and improvement of the park, but the funds provided are not sufficient for either the protection or the improvement. There has been no more than $3,000 appropriated any year excepting one, and that amount must cover every expense of the reserve, including all salaries as well as all other expenses.

The amount available for the roads, trails, and bridges in the park this year is $850. Exclusive of any consideration for the construction of new roads, there should be an appropriation of at least $20,000 for the proper protection of the reserve.

That, of course, would include the protection of the game; of the timber from forest fires, and other damages; the establishing of a sufficient number of ranger camps upon the lines of the park, and the maintaining a constant patrol throughout the reserve; the protection of the natural objects and curiosities in the park, and a general administration over all of the affairs of the reserve. [7]

During the nearly 4-1/2 years of Steel’s superintendency, he pressed for increasing appropriations to provide for adequate administration and development of the park. Congress was more responsive than in earlier years, and appropriations increased from $3,000 in 1913 to $7,540 in 1914. The rising level of park funding continued in 1915 and 1916 with appropriations of $8,040 and $8,000 respectively. [8]


Appendix A5: Biographical Sketch of William F. Arant
Appendix B5: Rules and Regulations of the Crater Lake NP, 1902
Appendix C5: General Regulations of June 10, 1908
Appendix D5: General Regulations of March 30, 1912