SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS
On November 9, 2000 by Proclamation of President Clinton, Craters of
the Moon National Monument was enlarged "to assure protection of
the entire Great Rift volcanic zone and associated lava features, all
objects of scientific interest." The proclamation provides
that the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management shall
manage the monument cooperatively. However, the NPS has primary
management authority over the portion of the monument that includes the
exposed lava flows, a land area of approximately 465,000 acres. The
total monument area is over 700,000 acres. The size of the monument was
previously 53,440 acres. In addition to the wonderfully preserved and
varied lava features, the monument includes areas where lava flows
diverged around areas of higher ground forming isolated islands of older
terrain called "kipukas." The kipukas provide a window on
vegetative communities of the past that have been erased from much of
the Snake River Plain.
The attached charts display the park budget and staffing for fiscal
Visitation: Annual visitation was 211,642, down 1.8% from
calendar year 1999, a year which included a number of special events and
activities honoring the park's 75th Anniversary.
Visitor Survey: For the third consecutive year we surveyed a
sampling of park visitors.
- 96% indicated an overall satisfaction with facilities and
- 88% reflected an understanding of the significance of the resources
of Craters of the Moon National Monument following their visit
NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
- Ongoing resources inventory and monitoring efforts
continued; level I natural resource inventories have been nearly
completed (prior to expansion of the monument)
- Completed the second field season of a three-year reptile and
amphibian inventory project with Idaho State University
- Upgraded the IMPROVE network site to permit monitoring of air
borne particulates effecting visibility
- Expanded the park's data base of known caves by 70
- Initiated vegetation restoration of ground within the monument
recently disturbed with rehabilitation of utility systems
- Completed a Wildland Fire Management Plan
- Hosted a workshop to identify critical monument resources and
potential for future monitoring efforts.
INTERPRETATION AND EDUCATION
- Upgraded the park's Web page with educational venues, improved
graphics, and expanded information on the park. Following issuance of
the Presidential Proclamation expanding the monument, cooperated with
the Bureau of Land Management in creating a new web page on the monument
tied into the Bureau of Land Management web system.
- Received, along with our partners - NASA, the Idaho Space Grant
Consortium and Idaho Public Television - the runner-up award in the
Education category for 2000 National Park Partnership Award.
- Continued the Robert Limbert living history programs in schools
and communities. This program is offered by a park cooperator and was
begun in 1999 as part of the 75th Anniversary.
- Replaced wayside exhibits along U.S. Highway 93 and made the
pullouts more accessible to the public. Removed one exhibit from the
right-of-way for safety reasons.
- For budgetary reasons, the park had to cut back on seasonal
interpretive staff this year resulting in a reduction of programs
offered to visitors by nearly 90% and over 50% reduction in visitor
CRATERS OF THE MOON NATURAL HISTORY
Sales were significantly down for the year ($177,000 compared to
$208,000 in 1999). The Association donated $13,000 in support of
projects at Craters of the Moon and Hagerman Fossil Beds National
Monuments. In addition the Association provided $37,000 of in-kind
services in aiding the NPS in providing visitor services and information
in the two visitor centers.
VISITOR AND RESOURCE PROTECTION
The west experienced an extreme fire season. Chief Ranger Rummele
continued in his capacity as the Safety Officer on a Type II Incident
Management Team as well as providing post fire support for the Cerro
Grande Fire at Bandelier National Monument. Craters of the Moon had one
lightning caused fire (Echo Crater) which burned 578 acres within the
Golden Eagle (hologram)
|Total Entrance Station||$91,102|
Portions of Beauty Cave and Buffalo Cave, and all of Boy Scout Cave
and Surprise Cave were temporarily closed this year after reports of
fractured ceiling rock and examinations by NPS mine and cave
authorities. The areas will remain closed until further evaluation of
the condition and suitable management alternatives can be developed.
In addition to routine maintenance and preventative maintenance work,
staff completed or initiated a number of projects to improve visitors'
experience and to rehabilitate old utility systems, including:
- Rehabilitated the park's wastewater treatment system at a much
lower cost and with much less ground disturbance than replacing with a
new treatment system
- Initiated restoration or replacement of components of the park's
potable water system
- Replaced the concrete steps in front of the visitor center with a
paved ramp, improving winter safety for visitors, improving
accessibility, and easing snow removal
- Replaced interpretive wayside exhibits along Highway 93
- Installed new trash receptacles to eliminate animal access and
improve worker safety and efficiency
- Completed remodeling work in seasonal housing.
With funding from the Recreation Fee Pilot Program, funded by visitor
entry fees, the following facility improvements were made to enhance the
visitor experience and protect park resources:
- Replaced counter tops in the visitor center restrooms
- Replaced selected trash cans with "animal proof" containers
- Replace obsolete film projection system used in school and outreach programs
- In addition a number of projects were initiated and will be completed in 2001
Hosted three visits by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, in
the park and in the surrounding communities, during his inspections of
the land areas and talks with local citizens interested in possible
expansion of Craters of the Moon National Monument.