online book
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Public Use of the
National Park System





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

current topic Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10



Public Use of the National Park System (1872-2000)
Chapter 3
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The National Park Service Meets Changing Times

a. Establishment of Three Categories within the National Park System.

b. Service Reorganization.


d. Innovations in Management.


The National Park Service has responded to the challenge of changing times with a major program of new measures. Four measures are emphasized here because of their direct bearing on public use. These are the formal establishment of three segments within the National Park System; reorganization of the Service; promulgation of a broad plan of action for the Service entitled PARKSCAPE U.S.A; and encouragement of innovations in management.

Under the leadership of Director George B. Hartzog, Jr., the National Park Service responded to the challenge of these five forces with a major program of new measures, including the following:

a. Establishment of Three Categories within the National Park System. On July 10, 1964, Secretary Udall sent an important directive to Director Hartzog renewing and up-dating the basic administrative policies for the National Park Service first set forth in 1918 by Secretary Lane Included in this directive was a new principle of far-reaching importance. Secretary Udall requested that henceforth the National Park System be classified into three segments--the natural areas, the historical areas, and the recreational areas. Furthermore, he asked that new statements of management principle be developed for each segment to guide resource management, resource use, and physical development. A statement embodying general management principles for each of the three segments of the System was published by the Service in 1965. A detailed exposition of principles for the management and administration of natural areas was issued by Director Hartzog on September 13, 1967. [10] This is a very important document with long-range implications for the management of all natural areas in the National Park System, including a wide range of policies directly affecting public use. It will be followed shortly by parallel compilations of administrative policies for the historical areas and the recreational areas.

b. Service Reorganization. An important reorganization of the Service was put into effect in 1965 and 1966 and is continuing. This included establishment of three Planning and Service Centers in Washington, D. C., Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and the strengthening of responsibilities of six assistant directors supervising administration, operations, design and construction cooperative activities, interpretation, and policy and program analysis. Special offices were created to improve coordination and direction of important professional work--the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, and the Office of Natural Science Studies. A field official was designated in each state to serve as keyman for Service programs, projects and official relations in that state.

c. PARKSCAPE U.S.A. In the 50th Anniversary year of 1966, Director Hartzog inaugurated PARKSCAPE U.S.A. This set forth a broad plan of action for the National Park Service to meet its growing responsibilities. PARKSCAPE U.S.A., described to some ten million readers in the July 1966 issue of the National Geographic Magazine, set forth five major goals:

"1. Completing the National Park System by 1972, a program of enormous scope--in effect, a Master Plan for the System--which has been endorsed by President Johnson.

"2. Utilizing the National Park concept as a vital means of helping American cities to achieve handsome, livable urban environments.

"3. Communicating the values of park conservation so that our citizens may better appreciate their heritage, to the end that all of us learn to live in better harmony with our environment.

"4. Developing cooperative programs with other organizations and, together, approaching the new problems of outdoor recreation on the broadest possible front.

"5. Extending assistance to--and exploring mutually helpful programs with--other nations through an international exchange of conservation knowledge with the goal of a second World Conference at Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 1972."

d. Innovations in Management. In this period it was discerned that many problems involved in managing the growing National Park System would not yield to old solutions. A spirit of innovation, within the framework of basic policies, was encouraged. Service employees were asked to propose new ways to meet old problems, particularly the problem of mounting public use. For example, a comprehensive study was made of new methods of transportation that might, in some locations, be introduced in place of the automobile. The "mini-bus" was introduced in Washington, D. C. A study was inaugurated to establish a rational basis for arriving at the carrying capacity of a park, using Rocky Mountain as a pilot example. Master plan teams were encouraged to propose innovations to help provide for public use. New and better methods of communication with the traveling public were energetically sought. Land classification, advisory commissions, regional planning and other helpful management concepts were explored, adopted or extended.


Last Modified: Thurs, Mar 14 2002 7:08 am PDT