Wayne Howe – Part Three and Four

Wayne R. Howe Oral History Interview

Part Three

Assignments as a Ranger and Superintendent in the NPS 1950s and 1960s 

You mentioned one thing about going to Crater Lake: which of the parks that I worked in enjoyed better funding and which fared worse. I think, here again, we’re talked about the fact that when you’re down in a lower level, you don’t have too much to do with our budgeting or your funding; at least we didn’t in those days. I think there’s more budgeting now, down in the lower level. But there wasn’t then. And so, I really couldn’t tell you very much about funding while I was here at Crater Lake. Now, you might say, “Hey, we need such-and-such.” And the chief ranger would say, “No, we can’t afford it.” Or the chief clerk would say, “No, you can’t afford it”. This type of thing. I was very cognizant of some of the lack of funding that we had an Olympic because we even had to stop using the horse trucks sometimes to haul our horse and this kind of stuff. The first real dealing I had to do with funding and budgeting and the whole bit was when I was chief ranger at Bryce Canyon. Now Bryce didn’t get much money, but I would say that the bigger parks, in those days, primarily all of my career, the bigger parks was the ones that got the most money. Now, they need the more money, too. But, I think there has always been a tendency to slight the smaller parks as far as money is concerned. It’s a kind of “out of sight, out of mind’ type of thing. Now, I may be wrong on this, it may not prove out if you looked at the figures, but that certainly is my feeling on it.  Crater Lake, I think, has been extremely fortunate to be able to renovate these building like they have. I don’t know what funding that came out of, but I think its great! It just really makes them look good. Now you asked, were we affected by the Mission 66 Building Program? You bet we were! Jean can tell you a little about that as far as Bryce Canyon is concerned.  

Jean: We got to choose the colors in the rooms and the floor vinyl and everything that was to go in our house in Bryce Canyon. Then, two weeks before they were finished, he got transferred! And so, we didn’t get into that house. We got into a Mission 66 house in Sequoia later on. So we were affected by it. I think there were lots and lots of people who very definitely were affected by Mission 66 building program. As far as their own personal life was concerned, it wasn’t the right housing, but it was probably the best that we could do at that period of time. They were comfortable houses. There was a lot of things wrong with them, but they were comfortable houses. Like Jean said, the one we had a Sequoia…

Jean: And Yellowstone…