Crater Lake’s future to get a management plan
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
January 22, 2001
By LEE JUILLERAT
They lack a crystal ball, but managers at Crater Lake National Park hope to envision and shape the park’s future for the next 10 to 15 years.
Park officials are starting a major planning effort to “define the future of this world-renowned national park,” according to Superintendent Chuck Lundy.
Lundy and management assistant John Miele said the keystone of the planning effort is a general management plan that will help determine the long-term direction for resource management, visitor use and interpretation, and facility needs and uses.
The plan will be developed around projects and plans undertaken in recent years,
including the rehabilitation and reopening of the Crater Lake Lodge and Mazama Village area dormitory for concession employees, and a 1998 visitor services plan.
Miele emphasized that public comment is wanted in developing the plan.
“The plan will service as guideline for the next 15 years,” said Miele. “We’re hoping to get a good response from the public. We’re wide open to suggestions.”
A series of public scoping meetings are planned, including one in Klamath Falls on April 9 at a to-be announced time and location. Other sessions are tentatively planned in Medford, Roseburg and Salem.
General issues that will be addressed in the plan include:
What can be done to ensure the park and its resources are adequately protected, preserved, restored and-or maintained in good condition.
What can be done to ensure that visitors and the general public learn and understand the purpose and significance of the park.
Are there appropriate boundary modifications.
Issues that might be addressed in the plan include:
Resource Protection — The park’s working relationships with neighboring federal and state land management agencies; the status of areas proposed for wilderness designation; the park’s role in possibly increasing and expanding education outreach programs.
Visitor Use — Should the park’s recreational offerings be increased or decreased; can more backcountry trails and camping sites be developed without adversely impacting resources; should historic park structures be adapted for over-crowded administrative jobs or should such functions be relocated outside the park.
Operations — Should winter lake viewing be expanded or limited because of the cost of snowplowing; can winter vehicular access be expanded to other areas of the park.
Facilities — Can alternative means of transportation be considered for visitor access to the lake. Should parts of Rim Drive be closed to vehicles to improve bicycle and pedestrian access.
Interpretation and Education — Should the park develop and expand its educational programs; is the park providing an adequate range of visitor information services.
In a related matter, Lundy said the park’s 2001 fiscal year budget of $3.9 million is available for review.
Lundy said work will begin this year on a $1.7 million construction project to restore four historic Rim Village structures. The project was delayed from last year.
In addition, the budget includes $698,000 for resource preservation and management for projects to monitor the park’s threatened and endangered species, restore and revegetate disturbed lands and remove exotic species, archeological surveys, preserve and protect the park’s museum collection, and historical research.
Another $239,000 is allocated for visitor understanding and appreciation of park resources while $811,000 is budgeted for park management and administration.
The park has 55 permanent positions and about 75 temporary positions. Another 7,000 hours are provided by volunteers.
Recreation Fee Demon-stration Money, or entrance fees, will be used to begin or complete such projects as rehabilitation of the Vidae Falls Picnic Area, installation of bear-proof food lockers at Mazama Campground, replacement of the docks at Cleetwood Cove and Wizard Island, and installation of vault toilets along Rim Drive.
Regional Editor Lee Juillerat covers Lake, Siskiyou, Modoc and northern Klamath counties. He can be reached at 885-4421, (800) 275-0982, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.