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General Management Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, Crater Lake National Park, Klamath, Jackson, Douglas Counties, Oregon, 2005


Affected Environment


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Prehistoric occupation of the Crater Lake area could date to more than 10,000 years ago, when extensive mountain glaciers began to recede and hunters followed big game into present- day southeastern Oregon. The great eruption of Mount Mazama, more than 7,700 years ago, left the area around it temporarily uninhabitable. Until Euro- Americans arrived in the area, prehistoric populations from the eastern and western sides of the Cascade Mountains intermittently used the area. Prehistoric uses included hunting, traveling to trade materials such as obsidian (volcanic glass used to make some stone tools), gathering resources such as huckleberries, and practicing traditional spiritual activities in the higher elevations and around Crater Lake.

Archeological survey work has been conducted in the national park since the mid- 1960s, and to date less than 1% of the land area has been examined. Until 2001 only ten archeological sites in the park had been officially recorded. These consisted of one lithic scatter, five “vision quest” rock feature sites, three rock feature sites constructed within the last ten to thirty years, and one obsidian source area. Complementing these sites were 18 isolated finds, most of which have been curated by park personnel. These isolates included two finds of obsidian raw materials (chunks or nodule); one isolated obsidian flake; a find of two crytocrystalline (CCS) flakes; 11 obsidian tools or tool fragments; and three CCS tools. The tools are mainly hunting related implements, consisting of ten point and point fragments (projectiles or knives), with one utilized flake, two bifaces, and one unifacially modified flake.

During 2001 a new archeological resource property type — grades and artifacts associated with railroad logging was discovered and recorded during a contracted survey of prospective burn units in the park’s northeast quadrant. That area of the park was transferred from Winema National Forest to Crater Lake National Park in 1980 and is part of a much larger logging railroad “network” developed during the 1920s.

Although only a small portion of the park has been surveyed for archeological resources, an archeologist working for the National Park Service has made some predictions about where archeological sites are likely to occur. These sites include small base camps near water resources that are indicated by scatters of stone tools; rock features, such as cairns or piles, stacks, and rings on mountain peaks and high ridges (probably associated with spiritual activities); and hunting sites throughout the park that are indicated by isolated tools such as projectile points. To date, the archeological finds in the park conform to the hypotheses set forth in this predictive model.

None of the archeological sites in the park have been evaluated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.


Three Native American groups bordered the Crater Lake area on the west – Molala, Upper Umpqua, and Takelma − while the Klamath Tribes lived to the east. The Klamath Tribes are a confederated tribe that includes people of Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Paiute ancestry as well as descendents of the southern Molalas. Indian lifeways, before disruption by Euro- American contact, involved seasonal movements from lower- elevation winter villages to hunt and gather a variety of fish, plant, and animal resources throughout their territories. Use of the Cascade Range, such as the present- day Crater Lake National Park area, included the establishment of warmer season camps to hunt animals, gather plant products such as huckleberries, and conduct traditional spiritual activities. Raiding by various Native American groups also occurred in the park area.

Spirit quests took Indian people to isolated places that were believed to possess the powers of certain physical forces and animals that, when acquired, brought success in activities such as gambling, romance, and healing. Those on quests retreated alone to particular places to fast, stay awake for long periods, undertake certain physical activities, and pray, while waiting for an answering vision. Some activities included running, stacking rocks into high piles, and swimming in water bodies thought to possess a sought- after power.

An ethnological overview of the park found Crater Lake to have been an important place of power and danger, highly regarded as a spirit quest site. This study referred to the lake as an important sacred place or landscape; such sites are called “traditional cultural properties” by cultural resource managers, although the boundaries of Crater Lake as a traditional cultural property have yet to be defined and documented. Parts of the lake are associated with mythical events and characters, and parts may be used for contemporary spirit quest rituals.

Members of the Klamath Tribes have identified Mount Scott, Crater Lake, and Huckleberry Mountain as important to traditional use activities. Some plant collection and harvesting probably occurred as a tribal use within park boundaries. Tribal staff have not yet formalized a request to further evaluate these sites as traditional cultural properties under National Register criteria, with the exception of Huckleberry Mountain. The request was transmitted to Rogue River National Forest, although an ongoing traditional use/ethnographic study indicates tribal activities associated with Huckleberry Mountain, the most significant harvesting area on the immediate western edge of present- day Crater Lake National Park, also included portions of the national park within the Union Creek drainage. The ongoing traditional use/ethnographic study has several related components — an appendix funded by the U.S. Forest Service for interviews with tribal members on Huckleberry Mountain, a separate study of anthropogenic fire regimes along the park’s western boundary underwritten by the Crater Lake Natural History Association, and a separately contracted exhibit plan focusing on traditional use through consulting with park- associated tribes.

The National Park Service will continue to consult with concerned Indian tribes to learn about possible traditional cultural property sites and how to avoid them. Consultation with the Klamath Tribes will be extended to include National Park Service activities affecting “ceded lands” — areas of the park within the boundaries established by a treaty negotiated in 1864 with the Klamath and Modoc and a group of the Northern Paiutes that ceded vast territories to the federal government and created in compensation a reservation of approximately 1.1 million acres. The treaty established the federally recognized Klamath Tribes and delineated “peak to peak” — Thielson to Scott and Scott to Pelican Butte — boundaries that include most of the park’s southeast quadrant.


The documented historic structures/buildings in Crater Lake National Park are primarily associated with development of the area as a national park. Most of the historic structures and districts in the park represent the activities of the National Park Service or the park’s concessioners. These resources, which include some of the nation’s best examples of blending rustic architecture and other built features with a national park setting, are located at Rim Village and at park headquarters in Munson Valley.

Historic Structures/Buildings Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Rim Village. Rim Village Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The historic district, which includes seven contributing structures and other individual features that comprise a designed historic landscape in terms of form and function, are listed under Criterion A for their association with the historical development of Crater Lake National Park and Criterion C for their association with site planning and design by NPS landscape architects and as outstanding examples of rustic naturalistic design in the areas of architecture and landscape architecture. The structures and features were constructed over a 15- year period beginning in 1921.

The seven historic structures in Rim Village are: Crater Lake Lodge, Sinnott Memorial Building, Plaza Comfort Station, Comfort Station behind the Cafeteria (Comfort Station No. 4), Kiser Studio, Community House, and a crenelated stone masonry wall that delineates the promenade and creates a parapet with three observaion bays of varying configurations that extend into the caldera.

Individual features that are historically important to the rustic character of the designed landscape at Rim Village are listed by category. The features listed under the circulation category include roads and parking areas (vehicular circulation) and walkways and four hiking trails (pedestrian circulation) which begin at various points in the district. A promenade extending 3,450 linear feet along the edge of the caldera is the primary pedestrian circulation system for Rim Village. The features listed under vegetation include planting concepts, which illustrate the philosophy behind all plantings in the district, and plant materials, which are the material forms of that philosophy. Small scale features include a variety of detail elements — free standing boulders, stone benches, and masonry details, such as steps and curbing.

Munson Valley. The Crater Lake superintendent’s residence at Munson Valley was designated a national historic landmark (NHL) in 1987 because it is an outstanding example of rustic architectural design. According to the National Park Service’s Architecture in the Parks National Historic Landmark Theme Study (1986), the superintendent’s residence “remains an architectural gem – a remnant of an ambitious development project that gave a strong architectural identity to a large park.”

The Munson Valley Historic District, which contains the park headquarters area, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 under criteria A and C. This nomination designated 18 buildings that contribute to the significance of the district. The structures, which represent prime examples of rustic architecture, were built between 1926 and 1949, although most were designed and constructed between 1928 and 1933. Subsequent landscape analyses have expanded on the significance of this district as a designed landscape and have established its historical significance under national register criteria A, B (for its association with significant persons), C, and D (for the significant information it has yielded or may be likely to yield).

The 18 historic structures that contribute to the significance of the historic district include: administrative building, ranger dorm building, mess hall, warehouse, machine shop, meat house, superintendent’s residence (national historic landmark), naturalist’s house, six employees’ residences, stone woodshed/garage, hospital, transformer building, and comfort station.

Watchman Lookout Station. The Watchman Lookout Station, located on an 8,000- foot peak on the west side of Crater Lake, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 under criteria A and C. Constructed during 1932 and designed as both a museum and fire lookout, the building is a unique example of rustic architecture as applied to a specialized building type. The National Register boundary extends 200 feet away from the lookout and trailside museum in all directions.

Historic Structures/Buildings Considered/Determined Eligible for Listing in the National Register of Historic Places

Rim Drive. In June 2003 the Oregon state historic preservation officer determined that Rim Drive was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. More specifics concerning contributing and non- contributing features will be available as work on the current Rim Drive cultural landscape report and a related corridor management plan for the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway continues. Structures and features that contribute to Rim Drive’s significance include the roadway’s width and right- of- way, embankments, slopes, associated turnouts, and stone retaining and parapet walls. Contributing features included several trails (Castle Crest Wildflower, The Watchman, Mount Scott, Sentinel Point, and Discovery Point) already listed in the cultural landscape inventory.

Jacksonville- to- Fort Klamath Military Wagon Road. In June 2003 the Oregon state historic preservation officer determined that the Jacksonville- to- Fort Klamath Military Wagon Road was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Jacksonville- to- Fort Klamath Military Wagon Road was constructed in 1865 to improve transportation routes in the region. An intermittent, but still ongoing, archeological survey is aimed at documenting features of the main route and spurs totaling some 22 miles in the national park. The main route of the military wagon road parallels State Highway 62 in places, but some segments veer some distance away from the highway, especially the spurs to Rim Village and Thousand Springs. Segments of the historic road are observable in or near various developed areas of the park, including Rim Village, Munson Valley, the abandoned Annie Spring campground, and Mazama Village. Potential character defining features include roadbed segments, retaining or embankment walls, blazed trees, campsites, and artifacts associated with use of the road between 1865 and 1915.

Munson Valley Road. In June 2003 the Oregon state historic preservation officer informed the National Park Service that it appears likely that the Munson Valley Road is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as a linear historic district and that bridges associated with the road should be evaluated as contributing or non- contributing within that district. The Munson Valley Road extends from Annie Spring to Rim Village and is the same road described as the South Entrance Road in this document.


To date the National Park Service has identified 13 cultural landscapes in Crater Lake National Park that are considered potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. These landscapes include what are referred to as “parent” landscapes and “component” landscapes:


Annie Spring

Lost Creek Campground

Munson Valley/Castle Crest

Wildflower Trail, Munson Valley

(Bridle) Trail, Superintendent’s


Rim Drive/Grayback Road, Mount

Scott Trail, The Watchman

Rim Village/Garfield Peak Trails

Wizard Island

Of these landscapes, Munson Valley, Rim Drive, The Watchman, Castle Crest Wildflower Trail, and Rim Village have been documented with a preliminary statement of significance and an existing conditions site plan. The superintendent’s residence has been documented with a history narrative, full statement of significance, analysis and evaluation, and a consensus determination of eligibility by the Oregon state historic preservation officer. The aforementioned landscapes are in fair condition with the exception of the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail that is considered to be in good condition and the Lost Creek Campground and Rim Village landscapes which are considered to be in poor condition.


The Crater Lake National Park museum collection consists of more than 200,000 objects divided into two major components — the natural history collection and the cultural collection. The natural history collection consists of biological and geological objects, while the cultural collection consists of archeological, ethnological, historical, and archival objects.

Lack of storage and workspace meeting National Park Service museum standards continues to frustrate efforts to improve care of and access to the collections. Due to limited staffing, the cataloging backlog continues to increase.

Natural History Collection

Collection and maintenance of documented natural history specimens and all associated records in the museum collection are designed to support the park’s research/resource management and interpretive programs. The natural history collection includes representative specimens of taxa found in the park, voucher specimens, and environmental monitoring samples. Currently, no paleontological resources have been identified. Hence, the natural history collection is comprised of biological and geological specimens.

Biological Objects. The biological collections include Monera and Protista, plants and fungi, and animals. Collections made of the Monera and Protista, such as phytoplankton samples obtained in association with the park’s lake research, comprise a significant part of the park’s museum collection.

The Applegate Collection, the core of the park’s vascular plant herbarium, represents the baseline for the park’s vascular plants. In addition, the park’s museum collection includes ecosystem collections of plants and fungi from research projects in the park’s Sphagnum Bog and Pumice Desert areas and mosses collected during lake research projects since the 1930s. The museum collection contains more than 2,000 herbarium sheets containing some 6,000 botanical specimens.

The animal collection contains more than 220 specimens of mammals, representing approximately 70% of the 52 mammal species known to occur in the park. The bird collection contains more than 215 specimens, representing approximately 70% of the 112 bird species known to occur in the park. The reptile and amphibian collection contains more than 375 specimens, representing all of the 14 reptiles and amphibians known to occur in the park. The fish collection contains more than 60 specimens, representing all of the five fish species known to occur in the park. The insect and arachnid collection contains about 1,500 insect and arachnid specimens representing approximately 750 taxa. In addition, the museum collection contains some 340 zooplankton samples and about 40 specimens of other invertebrates.

Geological Objects. The park’s museum collection stores some 420 geological specimens onsite. These consist of representative samples of rock types and formations exposed in the park. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) office in Menlo Park, California, currently maintains the samples collected by and for Dr. Charles Bacon’s continuing research on the national park’s geologic history. Due to the size of the collection, it will continue to be stored and used outside the park unless a more suitable facility is found. Evidence indicates that other USGS research has resulted in the collection of geological specimens, in particular collecting done by Dr. Hiroki Kamata of the Vancouver, Washington, office. An estimated 2,000-plus, uncataloged geological specimens collected under previous collection permits are housed by USGS in offsite repositories.

Cultural Collection

The purpose of the cultural collection is to preserve a portion of the national park’s cultural heritage and to increase knowledge and appreciation of that heritage through park research, exhibits, and interpretive programs. This collection contains materials from the disciplines of archeology, ethnology, and history (which includes archival/documentary material, photographs and negatives, decorative and fine arts, and historic objects).

Archeological Objects. The museum collection contains more than 20 archeological objects, all occasional finds, which are primarily prehistoric and of mineral composition.

Ethnographic Objects. The museum collection contains several ethnographic objects — baskets of unconfirmed tribal origin, possibly from the Rogue River region.

Historical Objects. Museum archival and manuscript collections include personal papers, organizational archives, assembled manuscript collections, resource management records, and subofficial records.

The national park’s museum collection contains the assembled collection and personal papers of William Gladstone Steel, generally considered to be the park’s founder. This collection forms the core of the archival materials already in the museum collection. The Francis G. Lange Collection contains blueprints, tracings, drawings, sketches, correspondence, and photographs that highlight the rustic architecture at Crater Lake and other parks. While the museum collection currently does not contain any organizational records, the archival collections of the Crater Lake Natural History Association, Crater Lake Community Club, or Mazamas would be appropriate collections to consider for inclusion. The museum collection currently contains more than 500 photographs and negatives, some 170 lantern slides, and more than 100 booklets/handbills/reports compiled by various collectors. The museum collection also contains the theses of several individuals who completed research in the park. A large quantity of resource management records (defined as vital non- official records generated by NPS employees, volunteers, contractors, cooperating associations, and other institutions to record information on cultural and natural resources for the purposes of reference or exhibition) that should become part of the museum archives is stored elsewhere in the park as well as at offsite locations. The museum collection contains some subofficial records (defined as copies or duplicates of documents that are useful for reference, administrative histories, interpretation, and research) as a portion of the collections of past NPS employees. The museum collection contains 13 paintings and 20 framed photographs relating to historical figures and scenic views associated with the park’s history. The museum collection contains some 30 historic objects, includeing Steel’s signature stamp, wooden benches constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, conference table, and parts of the “Cleetwood,” the first boat used by explorers on the lake.


The List of Classified Structures (LCS) is a computerized, evaluated inventory of all historic and prehistoric structures having historical, architectural, or engineering significance in which the National Park Service has or plans to acquire any legal interest. Included are structures that individually meet the criteria of the national register or are contributing resources of sites and districts that meet national register evaluation criteria. Also included are other structures — moved, reconstructed, and commemorative structures as well as structures achieving significance within the last 50 years — that are managed as cultural resources, because of management decisions that have been made pursuant to the planning process.

The following structures (with the exception of the Stone Walls Around Reservoir, Garfield Peak, all of these structures are individually listed in, or determined eligible for listing in, the national register or they are listed as contributing resources of national register- listed sites and districts) are listed in the park’s LCS. These include

Rim Village

Sinnott Memorial and Sinnott

Memorial Plaque

Kiser Studio

Crater Lake Lodge

Mather Memorial

Stone Guard Rail Behind Lodge

Stone Curbs and Parapet Walls

Stone Stairs in Auto Parking Area

Walls and Stairs to Sinnott


Plaza Comfort Station

Comfort Station behind the

Cafeteria (Comfort Station No. 4)

Community House


Munson Valley

Administration Building

Ranger Dormitory

6 Employee’s Residences

Superintendent’s Residence

Meat House

Mess Hall

Road Culvert Head Walls

Trail Bridge

Rock Walls

Lady of The Woods

Naturalist’s Residence

Comfort Station

Machine Shop

Transformer Building

Garage and Woodshed




Rim Village and Munson Valley

5 Drinking Fountains


Rim Drive

Stone Retaining Walls and Pullouts


Watchman Peak

Watchman Fire Lookout

Stone Parapet Walls and Trail (Watchman Lookout)


Garfield Peak

Stone Walls Around Reservoir

As a result of recently conducted condition assessments, possible additions to the LCS include the Wineglass Patrol Cabin (constructed in 1934) and the Mount Scott Lookout (constructed in 1952). Because the Goodbye Bridge (constructed in 1954) has been identified by personnel of the Historic American Engineering Record as the earliest gluelam bridge in the national park system, it is likely that this structure will be added to the LCS in the future.




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