National Park Week, I Missed It!

Yellowstone GateWell, this is what I get for leaving town. I missed a solid week of interesting stories to share about the National Park Service during the annual National Park Week (which was Apr 22 - 30 this year, as proclaimed by President Bush). Along the lines of "better late than never", here are a couple of links that may be of interest to you, if you haven't already seen them. These stories were originally highlighted in the NPS Digest, which I've found to be a nice daily source of NPS generated news.

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE : A Brief History
With over 3000 words it is hard to describe this essay as "brief" but it does cover a lot of the big topics within the Park Service history with nice narrative. A sample: "Crusading for a national parks bureau, Mather and Albright effectively blurred the distinction between utilitarian conservation and preservation by emphasizing the economic value of parks as tourist attractions. A vigorous public relations campaign led to supportive articles in National Geographic, The Saturday Evening Post, and other popular magazines. Mather hired his own publicist and obtained funds from 17 western railroads to produce The National Parks Portfolio, a lavishly illustrated publication sent to congressmen and other influential citizens."

Former National Park System Units: An Analysis
Since 1930 there have been 23 areas which have been transferred out of the National Parks. This article identifies each of these units and includes the agencies to which the areas were transfered. It is worth a quick look. A sample: "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."
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