SUPERINTENDENT'S ANNUAL NARRATIVE REPORT
CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL MONUMENT
SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS
This year was the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of
Craters of the Moon National Monument. Staff established a goal for the
celebration to increase recognition, understanding and appreciation for
the monument, particularly by residents of Idaho. As evidenced by the
newspaper, magazine and television coverage and attendance at events and
special programs this year, the celebration was a great success. The
highlight was the participation by former astronauts Edgar Mitchell,
Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle who trained at the Craters of the Moon
National Monument in 1969. We also made notable improvements in
selected park facilities and made significant progress in increasing our
knowledge of park natural resources and improving their protection.
Budget: The ONPS program authorization was $722,000. We
received a one-time contribution of $24,000 from the Region to support
the 75th Anniversary. With other additions and withdrawals
the total ONPS budget this year was $738,725. Special project monies
totaled almost $382,000. Included herein is a table displaying the
total FY 99 budget.
Personnel: Attached is a chart showing the employees here at
the peak of the season. Chief of Maintenance Kent Campbell retired and
Administrative Technician Judy Pederson-Campbell resigned. Dwayne
Moates entered on duty as the new Chief of Maintenance in May,
transferring from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Visitation: Annual visitation was 215,567, up 11.5% from 1998,
an increase possibly due to the publicity and special events associated
with the monument's 75th anniversary.
||Overnight use: 49|
North end day use permits: 8
Horse use permits: 0
In addition to the ongoing monitoring programs (breeding birds, mule
deer, water and air quality, and hazard tree assessments) the following
special projects or activities were accomplished:
- A new "bat friendly" gate was installed at the entrance to Arco
Tunnel. This project involved considerable cooperative effort with major
assistance from the BLM Shoshone Field Office, Gem State Grotto of the
National Speleological Society, and funding from the Craters of the Moon
Natural History Association, and the Columbia Cascades Cluster Natural
- Initiated a dioxin monitoring site (located at the NADP platform) in
cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November,
- Completed surveys and control efforts for invasive weeds throughout
the north end of the monument. One temporary biological technician (.3
FTE) and a Public Land Corp funded SCA position were instrumental in
accomplishing this work.
- Initiated vegetative restoration efforts on the area impacted by
water line replacement between the residence area and campground. This
included transplanting sagebrush, seeding, watering transplants,
spreading mulch, and erecting protective fences in the campground. One
temporary biological technician (.3 FTE) and a Public Land Corp funded
SCA position were instrumental in accomplishing this work.
- Completed the pilot wood rail fence project (to protect geologic
features) along the Buffalo Caves portion of the Broken Top Loop
- Obtained funding from the Geological Society of America for a
12-week intern position to develop a cave inventory database. Existing
records were compiled into one computer database and 80% of the known
cave locations were mapped using GPS to create a GIS database. The
number of inventoried caves increased from approximately 75 to
- A reptile and amphibian inventory of CRMO was initiated as a
three-year cooperative project between the NPS and Idaho State
University's Herpetology Laboratory. The NPS Inventory and Monitoring
Program provided funding. The NPS provided a biological technician and
SCA Resource Assistant for the project.
- In October, all resource management offices and the museum
collection were consolidated into one building (one half of the duplex
housing unit) providing a significantly more efficient work area.
INTERPRETATION AND EDUCATION
The primary focus for the year was on the 75th Anniversary celebration.
- With funding from the Idaho Travel Council, Craters of the Moon NHA
and NPS, staff produced a full color, glossy commemorative park
newspaper. Dave Clark and others involved in the project received the
1999 National Park Service Cooperating Association runner-up award for
- We produced a series of media and educational events based upon the
return of three astronauts (Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe
Engle), who trained here in 1969. Working with a number of cooperators
including the Idaho Space Grant Consortium, Idaho Public Television, and
NASA we kindled considerable interest among teachers and students around
the state in the study of earth history through the examination of
natural areas such as Craters of the Moon. With the involvement of
these astronauts we contacted 2,900 students in classrooms or
auditoriums; 160 students through the distance learning center; an
estimated 20,000 listeners via radio interviews; an estimated 25,000
viewers via Idaho Public Television; over 200 students at a science
competition; and many other forums including in-park special
- Produced a video ("Return to the Moon") for classroom use
in cooperation with the Idaho Space Grant Consortium and Idaho State
University promoting the monument and the importance of science in
- Provided a variety of programs to approximately 9,000 students in
cooperation with NASA to promote the anniversary and the relationship of
the moon's geology to the volcanic features at the monument.
- Supported and helped produce a living history program on the life of
Robert Limbert presented by Clark Heglar on 22 occasions to 1,725 people
around the state. Funding support was provided by the Idaho Humanities
Council and Craters of the Moon Natural History Association.
- Presented a series of special programs on various aspects of the
park including the wilderness; Shoshone-Bannock Tribal culture; wild
flowers; and local history. A Family Day was held during which families
participated together in a number of special activities at the
- Developed a special anniversary exhibit shown at a number of
off-site events. Since this was also the 50th anniversary of
the Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory, we joined
with them at a number of events, including assisting with exhibits and
personnel at a number of informational displays at shopping malls around
- The Superintendent spoke to approximately 1,000 people at a number
of civic organizations in southern Idaho.
- Held a 75th Anniversary employee reunion attended by 150
- Obtained media coverage in newspapers throughout Idaho and the
region, including a few national publications such as National
- Secured a proclamation from the Governor of Idaho that proclaimed
May as Craters of the Moon Month.
Other accomplishments include:
- The Governor of Idaho presented to the monument the "Take Pride
in Idaho" award for the best visitor information center in the
- Designed and installed waysides and a viewing platform relating the
history of the area to the view seen from the base of Inferno Cone.
This allowed removal of the exhibits formerly on top of the cone in an
effort to reduce resource damage to the cone and better accommodate all
visitors. The Idaho Humanities Council provided funding for the
- Designed and produced new exhibits for the Spatter Cones with
funding from the National Park Foundation and American Airlines as part
of the "Miles for Trails" program.
- Relocated the interpretive program work space, including slide
files, from the annex (resident duplex) to the visitor
center/administration building after moving the Resource Management
staff from this space to the annex. Both moves were designed to make
more efficient use of limited office space.
CRATERS OF THE MOON NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION
The Association celebrated its 40th Anniversary and worked
along with NPS staff in promoting the 75th Anniversary of the
monument. Total revenues of the association for 1999 were $208,069.
VISITOR AND RESOURCE PROTECTION
The last GSA vehicle used by the division was replaced with a USFS
surplus vehicle resulting in substantial savings in annual operational
The Visitor and Resource Protection staff received training in basic
high angle climbing skills and procured new equipment to improve search
and rescue capabilities.
The monument continues to support interagency incident management
activities. George Rummele served as the Safety Officer on the Eastern
Oregon Interagency Type II Incident Management Team, as well as lead
instructor for the M-140 Facilitative Instructor course at the National
Interagency Fire Center.
Monument and BLM personnel suppressed one wildland fire in the
monument. Monument staff extinguished one additional fire east of the
monument on BLM land.
Emergency gas sals
|Total Entrance Station||$100,145|
In addition to routine maintenance and support to all other divisions
in the accomplishment of their projects, notable projects initiated or
completed this year include:
- Repaired the asphalt curbs along the loop drive
- Initiated an arrangement with the Idaho Department of
Transportation, Region VI to clear snow from park roads and parking
areas to open the park to visitors more efficiently and with no damage
to road fixtures, such as the curbs
- Issued a contract for repairs and replacement of steps on east
entrance with a ramp
- Replaced all wood picnic tables in the campground and along loop
drive with recycled plastic, wheelchair accessible tables (paid with
Park Entrance Fees). Old tables were donated to local parks and
- Initiated rehabilitation of the brick public restrooms to bring up
to current accessibility standards and to reduce routine maintenance
costs (paid with Park Entrance Fees).
- Extended fibre-optics and telephone to Building #22 A/B, the office
- Reached an agreement with Butte County and the Bureau of Land
Management to obtain small quantities of cinders annually from a cinder
pit outside the monument and closed further excavation of a cinder pit
inside the monument.
- Potable water: Following recommendations from the Public Health
Service and a preliminary report from the A&E firm of Tetra Tech/KCM
the following work was completed:
- Replaced valve vaults along main waterline
- Replaced waterline to group campsite with enlarged capacity for
- Located waterlines from spring boxes to collection box and from
collection box to park headquarters area
- Replaced portion of waterline to campground
- Wastewater: Cost estimates for a wastewater treatment system came
in at over four times the preliminary Title I cost estimate. Upon
advice of the Support Office in Seattle we brought in Day Ray of Dave
Ray & Associates as a consultant to re-examine our options for
correcting deficiencies with the current wastewater treatment systems in
the park. Preliminary findings are that with some repairs and upgrades
we should be able to extend the life of the current systems as
tremendous cost savings and avoidance of major new ground
Monument staff continued their active involvement with regional and
inter-park activities. Staff served on the regional Administrative and
Ranger Activities advisory committees. We continue to provide
maintenance and contracting support to Hagerman Fossil Beds National
Monument and participate in park sharing work projects.
Within the local community we provide support to the county DARE
Officers; participate prominently in local events such as the Arco
Atomic Days parade; and Jim Morris was named to the newly established
Butte County Planning and Zoning Commission.
The monument hosted a visit by the Board of Directors and staff of
the National Park Foundation.
Last Updated: 31-Jan-2005