Smith Brothers 1988

Five Lake researchers spend five days on Wizard Island studying the Lake. The biggest surprise was to learn that fish spawn in January.

January 21
The Portland Oregonian comes out in favor of preserving the Lodge for the benefit of the public. “Crater Lake is a major attractor of tourists to Oregon and a major contributor to the economic health of Southern Oregon. Its role ought not be restricted to five months a year. Thus, the need for a fifth alternative: restoring the historic lodge for year-round accommodations.”

January 26
At a hearing held in Medford, the NPS was told by many in the audience that “Crater Lake Lodge is a historic treasure and needs to be retained in some form. NW Regional Director, Charles Odegaard responded by saying, “ I will make the best decision I am capable about making. Hearings were also held in Klamath Falls, Roseburg and Portland. Several people felt the Lodge should be retained, but turned into an interpretive center.

The past seven months have seen the lowest accumulative snowfall on record.

February 25
NPS Northwest Regional Director, Charles Odegaard announces that Crater Lake Lodgewill be restored for summer use and a new 60-room year-round lodge and visitors center will be built on the Rim. The total project is estimated to cost $33 million. Lodge rehabilitation costs set at $6.8 million. (The final price tag by 1995 nears $21 million for the old lodge and the costs for the new hotel soars over $66 million.) The key features of the project include: A three-level, 2.5 acre parking structure for about 640 vehicles. An adjacent lot would serve recreational vehicles and tour buses; a new pedestrian walkway, including an underpass below Rim Drive; the existing 400-car parking lot and another 100 parking spaces along the rim would be removed and replaced by natural vegetation. New housing for 98 seasonal employees would be built at Mazama Village, plus a 5,000-foot concession workshop and storage building. A new headquarters building would be built near the south entrance. A smaller dormitory, warehouse, museum storage and offices, plow shed and shuttle bus barn would also be built there.

March 28
Karen and Mike Riplinger of Eugene, OR, are rescued by helicopter after being lost for seven days in a snowstorm while attempting to ski around the Lake.

April 21
Three peregrine falcon chicks are born on a rocky cliff overlook the Lake. This is the first successful natural hatching of Park peregrines in eight years. The hatching is the culmination of a seven-year effort to reestablish falcons at the Park.

May 12
Jim Milestone, resource specialist reports that both the newly hatched falcon chicks and the mother are missing and believed dead. “It’s a big, big loss,” Milestone said. “It’s a major disappointment.” Great horned owls may have attacked the birds.

1987 – 1988
Snowfall: 369 inches, 31 feet.

June 15
Crater Lake gains special protection from geothermal drilling by being designated by Congress as a “significant” thermal feature. The designation protects the areas around the Park from leasing if drilling will hurt the thermal features.

July 7
Hank Tanski, Assistant Chief of Interpretation, transfers to John Day NM after 10 years of service.

July 12
A boat load of Park visitors is stranded on Wizard Island due to high winds and 7 foot waves. The group reaches the top of the Cleetwood Trail around midnight. Rangers used a small tractor and trailer to pull four people up the trail. One woman had twisted her ankle, one person was nauseous, and two others complained of fatigue.

July 26
A lightning strike on the north side of Mt. Scott burns 0.1 acres. The fire is monitored as a prescribed natural fire. (dubbed the Prophecy Fire)

August 2
An Aerospatiale Super Puma helicopter lowers a one-man submarine to the boat dock on Wizard Island. NPS fish biologist, Mark Buktenica was quoted as saying, “ This is a fantastic opportunity…a once-in-a-lifetime chance.” Deep Rover, weighing 7,200 pounds will spend the next three weeks exploring the depths of Crater Lake looking geothermal vents, among other things. The three week summer research project will cost $225,000.The sub has a top speed of 1.5 knots.

Following several dives, Jack Dymond and Robert Collier, both oceanographers from Oregon State, describe the bottom of Crater Lake as being a moonscape of underwater cliffs from 50 to 150 feet tall, scattered rocks, mineral deposits and fields of sediment. Dymond was quoted as saying, “I found it an extraordinary experience I have ever had.” At 1,200 feet the scientists could turn off the Deep Rover’s battery powered lights, look up, and still see blue light filtering through the surface. “That is quite an incredible depth for light to penetrate,” Collier said. “It is one of the more amazing things to me.”