Hatfield to chair Crater Lake festivities
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
January 05, 2001
By LEE JUILLERAT
Mark Hatfield was only about 12 years old when he visited Crater Lake National Park for the first time, a trip he remembers was remarkable not only for the lake but also the young boy-friendly squirrels and chipmunks.
Now age 78, the former two-term Oregon governor and 30-year U.S. senator is making plans to return to the park next year as the honorary chairman of the park’s centennial.
“I’m ready to take marching orders,” said Hatfield of his participation in the upcoming 100th anniversary. “I’m happy to be involved as much as I can, and as much as they want me to be.”
Park officials, with cooperation from The Friends of Crater Lake, are planning a variety of activities in 2002, including a banquet at Oregon Institute of Tech-nology in May in conjunction with actual 100th anni-versary. President Theodore Roos-evelt signed legislation creating the park on May 22, 1902.
The annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism is set for April 2002 in Klamath Falls, largely because of the Crater Lake Centennial. The lake will also be featured on state tourism brochures and many publications.
Other activities, if enough money is raised, will include “Will Steel’s Dream: The Crater Lake Legacy,” a video program by Southern Oregon Public Television; a Crater Lake history published by Oregon State University; an art show featuring works from the current artists in the park program; a traveling William Steel drama; possible Crater Lake commemorative stamp; park symposium; park employee reunion; possible Crater Lake centennial license plate; and August park rededication ceremony.
The Shaw Historical Library, which is based at OIT, will devote its 2001 Shaw Journal to Crater Lake and host the May 2002 Klamath Falls banquet.
“If we don’t have all the money we need we’ll still have a pretty good celebration,” predicts park superintendent Chuck Lundy. “If we can get it all, it will be wonderful.”
Hatfield’s inclusion as the centennial’s honorary chairman gives the celebration some “star power,” but also honors his long history of park support.
“Even though I didn’t have the frequency of visiting the lake, I was kept in touch with the hopes and goals for developing and preserving the lake and its unique geology,” said Hatfield. “Crater Lake was the one national identity in Oregon for our national treasures, national parks.
During his years in Washington, D.C., Hatfield was regarded an important power broker, especially when he chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee.
In all, Hatfield spent 16 years in state government as a legislator, secretary and governor before moving to Washington, D.C. Unlike many long-time legislators, he returned to Oregon after his retirement and lives in the Portland area, where he maintains an office and teaches.
Hatfield’s Crater Lake visits included serving as keynote speaker when the Crater Lake Lodge was rededicated after its renovation. Despite some concerns about the lodge and its location along the rim, he played a key role in obtaining funding for the extensive remodeling.
During the ceremonies, Hatfield was presented with a framed photograph taken when he and his wife and their first two children stayed at the then-ramshackle lodge. Hatfield remembers nicknaming the lodge, then known for its small rooms and down-the-hall bathrooms, the “Frenchglen Hilton.”
As honorary chairman, Hatfield said he will work to help promote the centennial.
“I’m waiting,” said Hatfield, “for instructions.”
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