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.

Backcountry Use: Overnight use: 49
North end day use permits: 8
Horse use permits: 0
Arco Tunnel: 11 permits


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 Resource Fund.
  • Initiated a dioxin monitoring site (located at the NADP platform) in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November, 1999.
  • 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 Trail.
  • 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 123.
  • 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.


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 publications.
  • 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 events.
  • 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 education .
  • 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 monument.
  • 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 southern Idaho.
  • 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 people.
  • Obtained media coverage in newspapers throughout Idaho and the region, including a few national publications such as National Geographic.
  • 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 state.
  • 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 exhibits.
  • 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.


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.


The last GSA vehicle used by the division was replaced with a USFS surplus vehicle resulting in substantial savings in annual operational costs.

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.

Fee Collection:

Entrance Station:
Single entrance
Commercial tour
Golden Eagle
Golden Age
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 recreation agencies.
  • 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 annex
  • 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 chorine treatment
  • 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 disturbance.


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