Copyright, Randall D. Payne
Zion National Park

This month as we explore the evolution of the National Park System, it is fitting to look back at park units which were created but due to various reasons delisted and removed from the National Park System. Barry Mackintosh explores 23 such units. Alan Hogenauer explores this subject in greater depth with two excellent articles: Gone, But Not Forgotten: The Delisted Units of the U.S. National Park System George Wright Forum, Vol. 7 No. 4, 1991 and An Update to Gone, But Not Forgotten: The Delisted Units of the U.S. National Park System George Wright Forum, Vol. 8 No. 3, 1992, and more recently Joe Weber revisits this subject in America's Lost National Park Units: A Closer Look George Wright Forum, Vol. 33 No. 1, 2016. In a second article we'll take a quick look at some of the park proposals which never resulted in declaration as national park units.

Former National Park System Units: An Analysis

Barry Mackintosh

Between 1930 and 1994, 23 units of the National Park System were transferred from National Park Service administration to other custody. (Not included in this number are areas authorized but never established as park system units, such as Georgia O'Keeffe National Historic Site and Zuni-Cibola National Historical Park.) These former units, in order of their divestiture from the system, are as follows:

Papago Saguaro National Monument, Arizona: Established by presidential proclamation Jan. 31, 1914; transferred to state of Arizona by act of Congress Apr. 7, 1930.

Sullys Hill National Park, North Dakota: Established by act of Congress Apr. 27, 1904; transferred to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture by act of Congress Mar. 3, 1931.

Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument, Montana: Established by presidential proclamation May 11, 1908; transferred to state of Montana by act of Congress Aug. 24, 1937.

Chattanooga National Cemetery
Chattanooga National Cemetery
(U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Chattanooga National Cemetery, Tennessee: Established under War Department by Army general order Dec. 25, 1863; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug. 10, 1933; returned to War Department by act of Congress Dec. 7, 1944.

Shasta Lake Recreation Area, California: NPS administration arranged by agreement with Bureau of Reclamation May 22, 1945; transferred to Forest Service by act of Congress effective July 1, 1948.

Lake Texoma Recreation Area, Texas-Oklahoma: NPS administration arranged by agreement with Corps of Engineers Apr. 18, 1946; returned to Corps of Engineers by termination of agreement June 30, 1949.

Father Millet Cross National Monument, New York: Established under War Department by presidential proclamation Sept. 5, 1925; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug. 10, 1933; transferred to state of New York by act of Congress Sept.7, 1949.

Wheeler National Monument, Colorado: Established under Forest Service by presidential proclamation Dec. 7, 1908; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug. 10, 1933; returned to Forest Service by act of Congress Aug.3, 1950.

Mount Holy Cross
Mountain of the Holy Cross
Thomas Moran 1875
(Autry Museum of Western Heritage)

Holy Cross National Monument, Colorado: Established under Forest Service by presidential proclamation May 11, 1929; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug. 10, 1933; returned to Forest Service by act of Congress Aug.3, 1950.

New Echota Marker, Georgia: Authorized under War Department by act of Congress May 28, 1930; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug. 10, 1933; transferred to state of Georgia by act of Congress Sept.21, 1950.

Atlanta Campaign National Historic Site, Georgia: Established by Secretary of the Interior's order Oct. 13, 1944; transferred to state of Georgia by act of Congress Sept.21, 1950.

Shoshone Cavern National Monument, Wyoming: Established by presidential proclamation Sept. 21, 1909; transferred to Cody, Wyoming, by act of Congress May 17, 1954.

Old Kasaan National Monument, Alaska: Established by presidential proclamation Oct. 25, 1916; transferred to Forest Service by act of Congress July 26, 1955.

Castle Pinckney National Monument, South Carolina: Established under War Department by presidential proclamation Oct. 15, 1924; transferred to NPS by presidential executive order effective Aug.10, 1933; transferred to state of South Carolina following act of Congress declaring property surplus Mar. 29, 1956.

Verendrye National Monument, North Dakota: Established by presidential proclamation June 29, 1917; transferred to state of North Dakota by act of Congress July 30, 1956.

Mount Holy Cross
Fossil Cyad

Fossil Cycad National Monument, South Dakota: Established by presidential proclamation Oct. 21, 1922; transferred to Bureau of Land Management by act of Congress Aug. 1, 1956.

Millerton Lake Recreation Area, California: NPS administration arranged by agreement with Bureau of Reclamation May 22, 1945; transferred to state of California by lease agreement Nov. 1, 1957.

Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, Utah-Wyoming: NPS administration arranged by agreement with Bureau of Reclamation July 22, 1963; transferred to Forest Service by act of Congress Oct. 1, 1968.

St. Thomas National Historic Site, Virgin Islands: Established by Secretary of the Interior's order Dec. 24, 1960; transferred to Virgin Islands government by act of Congress Feb. 5, 1975.

Shadow Mountain
Shadow Mountain
(from 1957 park brochure)

Shadow Mountain Recreation Area, Colorado: NPS administration arranged by agreement with Bureau of Reclamation June 27, 1952; transferred to Forest Service by act of Congress effective Mar.1, 1979.

Mar-A-Lago National Historic Site, Florida: Designated by Secretary of the Interior's order Jan. 16, 1969; NPS administration authorized by act of Congress Oct.21, 1972; returned to Post Foundation by act of Congress Dec.23, 1980.

National Visitor Center, Washington, DC: Authorized by act of Congress Mar. 12, 1968; transferred to Department of Transportation by act of Congress Dec. 29, 1981.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC: NPS administration authorized by act of Congress June 16, 1972; transferred to Kennedy Center Trustees by act of Congress July 21, 1994.

The NPS had a visible staff presence at only eight of the 23 areas. Five of these were reservoir recreation areas--Flaming Gorge, Shasta Lake, Lake Texoma, Millerton Lake, and Shadow Mountain--where NPS involvement resulted from agreements with the Bureau of Reclamation or the Corps of Engineers rather than specific acts of Congress. Because Congress had not mandated NPS involvement and because the NPS was not deeply committed to reservoir recreation management, the bureau willingly relinquished these areas to other agencies willing to accept them. Three of them went to the Forest Service because it already administered the surrounding lands and could more efficiently manage the reservoir recreation facilities.

The sixth area that the NPS actively managed was Chattanooga National Cemetery. Inherited from the War Department in 1933 together with Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the cemetery was returned to that department in 1944 because it was physically removed from the park and was still used for burials.

The two other areas with a visible NPS presence were the National Visitor Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC--both atypical park units. In the first case, Congress determined that the visitor center concept had failed and that Washington's Union Station could better be redeveloped privately under Department of Transportation auspices. In the second case, Congress decided that the organization responsible for the center's performing arts functions could also assume the Service's responsibility for managing the building.

Left: Lewis and Clark Caverns (Photo by D. B. Church. Courtesy National Geographic Society)
Right: Shoshone caverns Photo by F. J. Hiscock

Most of the other 15 areas were transferred because their significance was marginal and/or they did not lend themselves well to park development and use. Two national monuments inherited from the War Department in 1933 exemplified both shortcomings: Castle Pinckney paled in comparison with another island fortification in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter; and Father Millet Cross featured only a stone cross erected by the Knights of Columbus in 1926. Verendrye National Monument was found to have no historical connection with the French explorer for whom it was named. Fossil Cycad National Monument later disclosed few of the fossils for which it had been proclaimed. Old Kasaan National Monument was inaccessible to the public, and the totem poles that were its primary feature were ultimately removed to a museum. Sullys Hill National Park lacked notable natural qualities worthy of its designation and became a game preserve under the Agriculture Department. The most recent divestiture before the Kennedy Center and National Visitor Center, Mar-A-Lago National Historic Site, was never opened to the public and could not be maintained with the endowment left by Marjorie Merriweather Post for that purpose.

It is noteworthy that six of the 23 areas--more than a quarter--had been established under Agriculture or War department auspices before being transferred to the NPS by executive order in 1933 and thus had not been subject to prior NPS evaluation.

Except for two of the reservoir areas, all of the areas were divested from the National Park System by acts of Congress. The NPS normally took the initiative in recommending the transfers and drafted the legislation.

The following generalizations may be made about the 23 areas divested from the National Park System:

  • Areas in public use under NPS custody remained in public use with no significant reductions in services under their new custodians.

  • Both the NPS and the receiving parties supported the transfers.

  • There was no significant public or political opposition to the transfers.

  • None of the divested areas would meet current NPS standards for inclusion in the National Park System.

Information regarding Fossil Cycad, Lewis and Clark Cavern, Shoshone Cavern, and Verendrye can be obtained by reading the 1930 issue of Glimpses of National Monuments, as well as additional information on these and other National Monuments by reading the 1913, 1914, 1915 Report on Sullys Hill Park, Casa Grande Ruin; The Muir Woods, Petrified Forest, and Other National Monuments, Including List of Bird Reserves.

The following is a list of additional delisted units excerpted from Alan Hogenauer's articles listed above.

Camp Blounts Tables National Memorial, Tennessee: All that remains of this site is a stone marker along U.S. Highway 231 near Fayetteville, Tennessee. The site was authorized to commemorate the rendezvous of Andrew Jackson's troops in 1813, en route to Horseshoe Bend. Another rendezvous occurred at Camp Blount of troops en route to the Second Seminole War in 1836.

In 1861, an arched stone bridge was completed across the Elk River, not far from the site. Both the camp and the bridge played minor roles in the Civil War: Union troops of the Army of the Cumberland occupied the camp in 1863 and spared the bridge from destruction.

A 1927 proposal to make the area a National Military Park was unsuccessful, but in 1930 the Secretary of War was authorized to accept, by donation and gift, lands sufficient to commemorate both the camp and bridge. In 1933, the site was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service, but nothing further was done to develop the park, and in 1944 it was abolished. In 1969, the old stone bridge collapsed. With a shopping center now covering the bivouac site, only the forgotten marker is left.

Mackinac Island National Park, Michigan: There are bound to be exceptions to any classification scheme, and this is one of them. This unique delisted National Park, lying in the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan's two peninsulas, was both established and removed before creation of the National Park Service in 1916.

Initially designated in 1875, Mackinac Island National Park was never operated in the sense that the term implies today. Under War Department oversight, lots along the bluffs overlooking Lake Huron were leased to wealthy individuals for home sites, and the Army was the principal administrative force during the twenty-year life of the Park.

The focus of historical interest on the island, Fort Mackinac, was begun by the British in 1780, surrendered unfinished to the United States in 1796 under the terms of Jay's treaty of 1794, and recaptured by the British during the War of 1812. John Jacob Astor made the island the northern headquarters of his American Fur Company in 1815. Although the furt trade declined steadily after 1840, the fort itself remained active throughout most of the period that the National Park existed.

During this time, thousands of visitors flocked to the island in season. The destination was widely featured in steamboat and railroad excursion leaflets and advertisements, and numerous resort hotels were developed, including the massive Grand Hotel, built in 1887 and still open for guests.

In 1894 the Army finally abandoned the fort and the island; the next year, the island was transferred to the state of Michigan for use as a state park. Today Mackinac Island remains a principal tourist destination, and is served by seasonal ferry connections from St. Ignace and Mackinaw City at either end of the Mackinac Bridge. On the island itself, the historic fort is well-preserved under the administration of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

Fort Benton, Montana: On 1976, legislation authorized the National Park Service to build and maintain a visitor center at Fort Benton, forty miles northeast of Great Falls, Montana, to commerate the historic fur trading post on the Missouri River. The authorization was never acted upon, however, and the park-elect was delisted by 1985. There is still a small, but active, community at Fort Benton; the superb Grand Union Hotel and the ruins of the orginal fort can still be visited.

White Plans National Battlefield Site, New York: The battle of White Plains, New York, was fought from October 28 to November 1, 1776, as General George Washington's patriot army, moving northward in retreat from Long Island and Manhattan, successfully delayed further advances by Sir William Howe's pursuing British forces.

To commemorate various locations pertinent to this fighting, White Plains National Battlefield Site was proclaimed under War Department administration in 1926, and transferred to the National Park Service in 1933. No federal lands were ever involved, and what little development there was, was limited to three descriptive markers. The Battlefield Site, such as it was, was dropped from the National Park Service in 1956.

Two years later a group of local citizens organized the Battle of White Plains Monument Committee to identify, preserve, and protect as many relevant sites as possible. For a number of years, the Committee sponsored an annual re-enactment of the battle, and they laid out a nine-mile Heritage Trail connecting all the principal points of interest.

Angel Island, California: Under a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Land Management, to which Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, had been transferred for disposal, the National Park Service has undertaken temporary responsibility for its administration and protection (from 1950-1954). Funds to meet the costs of administration and protection have been furnished by the Angel Island Foundation, a non-profit corporation of San Francisco. (Source: Annual Report of the Director of the National Park Service, Fiscal Year 1951).

Proposed National Park System Units: But Were Never Established

The following is far from an exhaustive list of National Parks which have been proposed over the years, but were never established. These proposals, however, were brought forward by the National Park Service/Department of the Interior as outlined in various Director's Annual Reports; these proposals included both the creation of new parks and expansion of existing parks.

As stated in the 1916 Director's Annual Report, 16 new national parks were proposed, only four of which have since been established:

The general public interest in national playgrounds may be evidenced by the number of bills now pending in Congress calling for the creation of 16 new national parks, as follows:

Cabinet National Park, in the extreme northwest corner of Montana.
Cliff Cities National Park, in the northern part of New Mexico.
Denver National Park, in the north-central part of Colorado, near Denver.
Mammoth Cave National Park, in the west-central part of Kentucky.
Mescalero National Park, in the southern part of New Mexico.
Mount Hood National Park, in the northern part of Oregon.
Mississippi Valley National Park, in the southwestern part of Wisconsin and northeastern part of Iowa, near McGregor, Iowa.
Mount McKinley National Park, in the southern part of Alaska.
Mount Baker National Park, in the extreme northwestern part of Washington.
Mount Katahdin National Park, in the central part of Maine.
Olympic National Park, in the northwestern part of Washington.
Palo Duro National Park, in the northwestern part of Texas.
Rio Grande National Park, in the southwestern part of New Mexico.
Sand Dunes National Park, in the extreme northwestern part of Indiana.
Sawtooth National Park, in the south-central part of Idaho.

Expansion of several existing national parks was proposed in the 1919 Director's Annual Report:

There are several important steps yet to be taken by Congress before the national-park system is complete. Several new national parks should be added to the group already created, and there should be some important extensions of a number of the existing parks.... They include the enlargement of Sequoia National Park and the changing of its name to Roosevelt National Park, the inclusion of the Teton Mountains and other scenic territory in Yellowstone National Park, the addition of the Diamond Lake region to Crater Lake National Park, and the extension of Mount Rainier Park to take in Ohanapecosh Hot Springs. Likewise there is a pressing necessity for adding the Mount Evans region to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is not unlikely that certain changes should be made in Yosemite National Park, some lands being excluded and other lands in the High Sierra being included. Also, it seems essential that the east boundary line of Glacier National Park be extended to the section of the park highway that traverses the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Several new parks were proposed in the 1916 Director's Annual Report:

Greater Sequoia (Roosevelt) National Park
A bill was introduced in Congress to enlarge the boundaries of the present Sequoia National Park, in California, to include the Kings and Kern River Canyons, and it is hoped this bill will be enacted at the next session of Congress. This would make the area approximately 1,600 square miles, an increase of 1,335 square miles over its present area. The park at present has no exceptional scenery except the three groves of Sequoia washingtoniana, which it was originally created to preserve, while just to the east of it lies some of the most magnificent scenery to be found anywhere in the world. I earnestly recommend the proposed extension which includes a portion of the great Western Divide and the crest of the Sierra topped by Mount Whitney, the highest point in continental United States.

The summit of Mount Whitney, nearly 3 miles high, in the proposed Greater Sequoia National Park.

Map showing proposed enlargement of the Sequoia National Park to be known as the Roosevelt National Park.
(click on map for a PDF enlargement, from 1919 Director's Annual Report)

Much of the land in the proposed boundaries was eventually included in Kings Canyon National Park (which was designated in 1940) and in an enlarged Sequoia National Park.

Mount Hood National Park
A bill was introduced in Congress for the creation of the Mount Hood National Parks, in the State of Oregon. This bill proposed to embody in the parks eight noncontiguous tracts of land. A national park should be made of Mount Hood, but it is not considered advisable that it consist of these separated tracts of land. You recommended in your annual report to the President in 1915 that this national park be established, and this year you submitted to Congress a draft of proposed legislation creating a park comprising one undivided tract of land.

Mount Hood, in the proposed Mount Hood National Park.

Designated a National Recreation Area in 2009 and managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Idaho (Sawtooth) National Park
A bill was introduced in Congress to establish the Sawtooth National Park, in the State of Idaho. The land proposed to he included in this park is practically in the center of the State of Idaho, and has an area of about 329,910 acres, less than 4,000 acres of which is affected by any sort of private claim. This State has no national park, and the proposed new park would be readily accessible from various branches of the Oregon Short Line. It is not far distant from the regularly traveled automobile highway through Twin Falls and Shoshone, and could be readily visited, and no doubt would be, by visitors from the Yellowstone National Park. It would constitute a most important link in the chain of national parks, located as it is between the Yellowstone and the Mount Rainier Parks. The proposed park contains an unusually interesting portion of the Sawtooth Range, which shows the characteristics of the three main mountain ranges in the United States. The southern portion reminds one of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the middle resembles the Sierra in California, and the northern end exhibits the characteristics of the Cascade Range in Washington. It should be known as the Idaho National Park rather than the Sawtooth.

Stanley Lake, in proposed Idaho (Sawtooth) National Park.

Designated a National Recreation Area in 1972 and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. More information about the history of the effort to designate this area can be found in Douglas W. Dodd's article from Idaho Yesterdays (Vol. 50, No.1, Spring 2009) "A National Park for the Gem State? The Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Sawtooth National Park Campaign, 1911-1926". As recently as 2010 there was a renewed effort to declare portions of this area as Boulder-White Clouds National Monument (in 2015, portions of this area was added to Sawtooth National Recreation Area as well as establishment of designated wilderness areas).

Mount Baker National Park
A bill was introduced in Congress for the creation of the Mount Baker National Park in the State of Washington. Mount Baker is the farthest north of America's high mountains, outside of Alaska, and overlooks a scene of wildest grandeur. It is a dome-crowned bulk of vast extent, nearly 11,000 feet high, and is deeply grooved by 12 glaciers. From the mountain itself stretches a bewildering panorama of mountain and valley, forest and field, threaded by numerous clear streams, and on clear days the sea can be seen in the distance.

Mount Baker, in proposed Mount Baker National Park.

Designated a National Recreation Area in 1984 and managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Additional proposals appeared in the 1917 Director's Annual Report:

Grandfather Mountain National Park
Within a short time there will be a national park established in the southern Appalachian Mountains under the authority contained in the sundry civil act approved June 12, 1917. Doubtless the new park will be called Grandfather Mountain National Park, because the famous peak that will form its center has long been known as the "Grandfather." The tract will be donated to the Federal Government by public-spirited citizens of North Carolina and will be a very valuable addition to our national playground system....
Grandfather Mountain was said by the early settlers to have received its name because it was supposed to be the highest mountain in the East when measured from its base in the Johns River Valley to the" peak. While it does not rise to as great a height as Mount Mitchell, the base of its eastern slope is probably a thousand feet lower than the base of Mount Mitchell. Taking in consideration its height, ruggedness, beauty of scenery, and the forests which surround it, the mountain is most striking and impressive. The Grandfather is the highest mountain in the Blue Ridge Range. It appears that all higher peaks are in spurs of the Blue Ridge. The ridge approaches one side of Grandfather Mountain from the southwest at an elevation of about 4,500 feet, and seems to run under the mountain and leave the other side, going northwest at about the same elevation. The mountain is said to be the center of more river systems than any other peak. The East and West Forks of the Linville River, the North Toe River, the South and East Forks of the Watauga River, and Wilson Creek, which runs into the Catawba, all have headwaters on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain; and the headwaters of the Yadkin River are not far distant. The mountain is covered with a growth of hardwood and in the park area of 1,400 acres the growth is largely spruce, fir, and balsam. There has been considerable road and trail improvement accomplished already and the area will be accessible to visitors as soon as it is dedicated for park purposes.

Proposed Grandfather Mountain National Park, North Carolina. Yonahlossee Road long the side of Grandfather Mountain.

Grandfather Mountain lies within Grandfather Mountain State Park (established in 2009), which lies along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mississippi Valley National Park
Investigation was also made last winter of the proposed Mississippi Valley National Park. This park project contemplates the purchase of lands near McGregor, Iowa, on the shore of the Mississippi River, and certain islands in the river. The investigation disclosed the fact that a national park of dignified proportions in this region should include land on both sides of the Mississippi River and the islands therein, between McGregor and Prairie du Chien, Wis. Part of the lands that might be included in a national park are now part of a Wisconsin State park. No estimate has been made of the cost of obtaining these lands. It is understood that areas of considerable size in the proposed park would be donated in the event that Congress should favorably consider the establishment of a national park.

Map showing position of proposed Mississippi Valley National Park, Iowa-Wisconsin.
(click on map for a PDF enlargement, from 1917 Director's Annual Report)

Sand Dunes National Park
Since the close of the war renewed interest has been taken in the idea of establishing a national park in the sand-dune area of northern Indiana. Individuals who know the dunes intimately and who have a true appreciation of their beauties, and societies of which these lovers and users of the dunes are members, are preparing to arouse wide consideration of this park project. They realize that if steps are not taken soon to set apart a section of the dunes area as a national playground, it will be cut up and sold for commercial uses of one kind or another.

It will be recalled that in the autumn of 1916, pursuant to the request contained in a Senate resolution, we conducted a careful investigation of this sand-dune park proposal, holding hearings on the plan in Chicago and later publishing a comprehensive report on the findings. This report has been in constant demand, and the first edition has become exhausted. A new edition will soon be published for use in the forthcoming campaign to safeguard a portion of the dune area.

The people who are interested in this project understand clearly the policy of Congress relating to the purchase of land for national parks, and are not preparing to call upon the Government for funds to aid their enterprise. On the contrary, they expect to enlist the financial aid of unofficial bodies and of individuals in the purchase of as much of the dune region as possible.

I will be much interested in the progress of the movement to save a bit of the typical sand-dune landscape. It is entirely unique, and the region possesses, in addition to this, recreative advantages of national importance. The Lake Michigan beach, a part of the sand dune area, would alone furnish pleasure to hundreds of thousands in the summer season, while a tract of from 8,000 to 12,000 acres, including some of the woodlands, would offer opportunities for camping that could hardly be excelled in most of the big parks of the West.

I hope the movement may splendidly succeed.

Complying with the resolution of the United States Senate, dated September 7, 1916, Director Mather made a study of the proposed Sand Dunes National Park in Lake, Porter, and Laporte Counties, Ind. A hearing on the project was held in Chicago on October 30, 1916, and the dunes areas themselves were inspected early in November. Mr. Mather's complete report on the project was recently published. The Senate resolution required a report as to "the advisability of securing, by purchase or otherwise, all that portion of the counties of Lake, Laporte, and Porter, in the State of Indiana, bordering upon Lake Michigan and commonly known as the 'sand dunes,' with a view that such lands be created a national park." The department was also requested to furnish information as to the cost of acquiring the dunes and the probable cost of maintaining the area as a national park. Director Mather in his report states that the sand dunes of Lake and Laporte Counties are unimportant and not valuable for park purposes, but he states that the Porter County dunes possess national-park quality. A park in this county should include from 15 to 20 miles of the Lake Michigan beach. In order to include all of the scenic sand dunes in this vicinity the park should be approximately a mile wide. It is estimated that it would cost between $1,800,000 and $2,600,000 to purchase the sand-dunes land. As Congress has never purchased lands for the purpose of establishing national parks, no recommendation was made as to the advisability of establishing the Sand Dunes Park. Full data regarding the physical characteristics of the sand dunes have been submitted to Congress in compliance with the Senate resolution.

More specifics of this proposal can be found in Stephen T. Mather's Report on the Proposed Sand Dunes National Park Indiana published in 1917. Portions of this proposed national park were incorporated in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (established in 1966).

An expansion of Rocky Mountain National Park was proposed in the 1919 Director's Annual Report:.

Mount Evans (Denver) National Park

The next legislation that should be enacted with reference to the park, aside from appropriation measures, should provide for the addition of the Mount Evans region to the park area. A bill providing for this extension was introduced in the last session of Congress but was not brought up by its proponents. It is expected that other legislation to accomplish this purpose will be introduced again in the early future.

Briefly, this project contemplates giving a park status to the remarkable section of the Front Range almost directly west of Denver, which in reality is simply Mount Evans, highest peak in the Front Range, and its great buttresses. Mount Evans rises 14,260 feet above the sea. To describe it adequately would require more space than this limited report will allow, but it is sufficient to say that, with the exception of Mount Rainier, the national park system does not include a mountain that is so well proportioned and so distinctive in all of its features as Mount Evans.

Former Assistant Director Albright made a thorough examination of this proposed park area last October, when he climbed to the summit of Mount Evans and covered most of its valleys. In his comprehensive report he describes Mount Evans as follows:

"Mount Evans is the central pile of a vast cathedral-like structure. From the northeast it is supported by a splendid buttress of peaks whose connecting slopes an automobile highway will ultimately skirt. Squaw Mountain, 11,470 feet; Chief Mountain, 11,710 feet:; Warrior Mountain, 11,270 feet; Devil's Nose, 11,100 feet; Goliath Peak, 12,200 feet; Mount Rogers, 13,330 feet; and Mount Warren, 13,300 feet, lead progressively to Mount Evans's supreme summit, whose altitude is 14,260 feet. The northwestern buttress is shorter but nobler in its elevation—Sugar Loaf Peak, 12,513 feet; Mount Gray Wolf, 13,610 feet; and Mount Spalding, 13,800 feet. Up from the southeast another noble buttress has for its high points Meridian Hill, 11,000 feet; Rosedale Peak, 12,200 feet; Rosalie Peak, 13,575 feet; and Epaulet Mountain, 13,500 feet. Another buttress joins Mount Evans from the south and contains Mount Logan, 12,730 feet, and several other unnamed eminences over 12,000 feet in altitude. Upon the west Evans is supported by Mount Bierstadt, a monster of 14,016 feet.

"It requires no imagination to picture this system in its architectural proportions. And all within a compact area of 160 square miles."

The Mount Evans region abounds in animal life, and its trees, wild flowers, and shrubs represent a wide range of Rocky Mountain plant life. The lakes of its glacial valleys are very beautiful. Commercially the region is worthless, aside from certain grazing lands that are now and always should be preserved as range for game.
The total area of the proposed extension is 159.34 square miles, or 101,981.83 acres. The area of the present park is 397.5 square miles, or 254,327 acres. Mount Evans lies within the Pike National Forest, which has an area of 1,256,112 acres; hence only about 8 per cent of this reserve is involved in the extension plan.
The city of Denver is extending its Mountain Park road system toward Mount Evans, and already a remarkably scenic approach road is built practically to the northeastern corner of the national park area. It should be continued to the top of Mount Evans, which offers a feasible route along its northeastern buttress, an array of peaks with exquisite lakes in their ice-eaten cirques that will make the suggested road unique among the highways of the world.

Denver has also agreed to acquire all of the private holdings in the park area that are needed, for administration or improvement purposes.

There is a great opportunity here to expand Rocky Mountain National Park and its usefulness to the Nation with the cooperation of a city which has already taken a surpassing interest in national-park development.

Map showing proposed Mount Evans Region Added to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
(click on map for a PDF enlargement, from 1919 Director's Annual Report)

Portions of which were subsequently declared Mount Evans National Recreation Area, managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the City of Denver (Summit Lake area).

A quick Internet search (conducted in 2016) shows the following proposed additions to the National Park System. These are not proposals by the National Park Service/Department of the Interior and by no means is this a complete list (plus some of the proposals overlap boundaries of earlier proposals):

Ancient Forest, California-Oregon
Atchafalaya, Louisana
Bears Ears, Utah
Birthplace of Rivers, West Virginia
Bodie Hills, California
Csstner Ranger, New Mexico
Cotoni-Coast Dairies
Driftless Rivers, Minnesota-Wisconsin-Illinois-Iowa
Florida Big Bend, Florida
Gold Butte, Nevada
Grand Canyon Watershed, Arizona
Great Bend of the Gila River, Arizona
Greater Canyonlands, Utah
Greater Grand Canyon Heritage, Arizona
Greater Hart-Sheldon, Oregon-Nevada
Grizzly Bear/Santa Ana, California
Hells Canyon/Chief Joseph, Idaho-Oregon
Hidden Gems, Colorado
High Allegheny, West Virginia
Kissimmee Prairie Grasslands, Florida
Lesser Prairie Chicken, New Mexico
Lighthouse Ranch, California
Maine Woods, Maine
Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Alabama
Modoc Plateau, California
Mount St. Helens, Washington
Northwest Sonoran Desert, Arizona
Orange County Offshore, California
Otero Mesa, New Mexico
Owyhee Canyonlands, Idaho-Oregon
Piedras Blancas, California
Red Desert, Wyoming
Rocky Mountain Front, Montana
Sagebrush Steppe, Nevada-Oregon
San Rafael Swell, Utah
Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock, Arizona
Siskiyou Wild Rivers, Oregon
Steens Mountain, Oregon
The Lost Coast Headlands, California
Trinidad Head, California
Upper Bald River, Tennessee
Vermillion Basin, Colorado
Wind River Range, Wyoming

The following list contains sites which the National Park Service has conducted Special Resource Studies (since 2001) to evaluate their potential for being added to the National Park System (or as National Heritage Areas/National Historic Trails/Wild and Scenic Rivers). This list excludes sites which have since been added to the System.

A.G. Gaston Motel, Alabama
Alexander Hamilton Estate, Virgin Islands
Anderson Cottage, District of Columbia
Androscoggin Valley, New Hampshire
Angel Island Immigration Station, California
Battle of Franklin, Tennessee
Battle of Homestead & Carrie Furnance, Pennsylvania
Battle of Matewan, West Virginia
Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico
Boggsville Historic Site, Colorado
Butterfield Overland Trail
Cahokia Mounds, Illinois
Catle Nugeent Farms, Virgin Islands
Chevy in the Hole, Michigan
Chisolm Trail
D-Day National Memorial, Viriginia
Eaker Air Force Base, Arkansas
Eightmile River, Connecticut
Farmington Quaker Meeting House, New York
Flushing Remonstrance, New York
Fort Hunter Liggett, California
Fort King, Florida
Fort Ontario and the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum, New York
Fort San Geronimo, Puerto Rico
Freedom Riders Park, Alabama
Gaviota Coast Seashore, California
George W. Bush Childhood Home, Texas
George Washington Boyhood Home (Ferry Farm), Virginia
Grant's Farm, Missouri
Greast Western Trail
Green McAdoo School, Tennessee
Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Maine
Harry S Truman Birthplace, Missouri
Hero Street, Illinois
Hot Springs High School, Arkansas
James K. Polk Home, Tennessee
John P. Parker House, Ohio

Kate Mullaney House, New York
Lewis and Clark NHT — Eastern Legacy Route
Loess Hills, Iowa
Mare Island, California
Miami Circle, Florida
Michigan Maritime Sites, Michigan
Mill Springs Battlefield, Kentucky
Musconetcong River, New Jersey
Nashua River, Massachusetts
Natural Bridge, Virgini
New Jersey Shore of Delaware Bay, New Jersey
New Philadelphia, Illinois
Newtonia Civil War Battlefields, Missouri
Norman Studios, Florida
President James A. Garfield Memorial, Ohio
Prison Ship Martyr's Monument, New York
Robert Moton High School, Virginia
Rock Springs Ranch, California
San Luis Valley/Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado-New Mexico
Shepherdstown Battlefield, New York
Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial, Texas
Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri
Susan B. Anthony Home, New York
Taunton, Massachusetts
Tunica River Park, Mississippi
Virginia Key Beach Park, Florida
Walden Pond and Woods, Massachusetts
Washiington Crossing Historic Park, Delaware-Pennsylvania
Washington Trail — 1753, Pennsylvania
West Hunter Street Baptist Church, Georgia
William Lloyd Garrison Birthplace, Massachusetts
Wolf House, Arkansas
Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, Connecticut-Rhode Island
York River, Maine
Yuma Quartermaster Depot, Arizona