32 5. An Act to Authorize the Acquisition of Additional Land in the City of Medford, Oregon

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


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CHAPTER NINE: Legislation Relating to Crater Lake National Park: 1916-Present


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5. An Act to Authorize the Acquisition of Additional Land in the City of Medford, Oregon, for Use in Connection with the Administration of the Crater Lake National Park (47 Stat. 156–May 14, 1932)

The Medford property acquired by the park in 1924 had become inadequate for park needs by 1932. The Park Service had built a warehouse (46 x 80 feet) on lot 3, block 2 of the central subdivision of the town which had been acquired in 1924. Each winter virtually all park equipment was taken to this property to be overhauled and placed in condition for the next season’s operation. By 1932 the storage space for this equipment had become inadequate and the warehouse and yard greatly overcrowded, causing considerable delay and inconvenience in maintenance operations.

The lot (lot 4, block 2) adjoining the warehouse property became the property of Medford in the early 1930s. Park Superintendent Solinsky began negotiating with town authorities concerning donation of the lot to the Park Service for use in connection with the existing warehouse site. Assessments and interest against the lot amounted to nearly $1 ,000, and before the town could donate the lot it would be necessary for the matter to be placed on the ballot in the November election. The cost of the ballot measure was estimated to cost $300. However, it would be possible for the town to sell the lot to the government without the approval of the citizenry, and, accordingly, town officials offered the lot for the nominal sum of $300. [19]

On March 8, 1932, Representative Willis C. Hawley of Oregon introduced a bill (H.R. 10284) to authorize acquisition of the additional lot by the federal government. The bill read:

That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized to acquire on behalf of the United States for use in connection with the present administrative headquarters of the Crater Lake National Park, that certain tract of land in the city of Medford, Jackson County, Oregon, adjoining the present headquarters site and described as lot 4, block 2, central subdivision to said city of Medford, Oregon, which tract of land has been offered to the United States for the purpose aforesaid by the city of Medford, Oregon, free and clear of all encumbrances for the consideration of $300.

SEC. 2. That not to exceed the sum of $300 from the unexpended balance of appropriations heretofore made for the acquisition of privately owned lands and/or standing timber within the national parks and national monuments be, and the same is hereby, made available for the acquisition of land herein authorized. [20]

The bill encountered little opposition on its legislative course through Congress. After receiving endorsement by Secretary of the Interior Wilbur and Park Service Director Albright in mid-March, the House Committee on Public Lands recommended passage of the bill without amendment on March 28. [21] The House passed the bill on April 4 after which it was sent to the Senate. After being reported favorably without amendment by the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys on April 26, [22] the bill passed the Senate on May 9. On May 14 the bill was signed into law (47 Stat. 156) by President Hoover. On March 7, 1933, the lot, comprising 0.13 acre of ground, was purchased and added to the park’s property holdings. [23]