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and miners to kill sufficient game for their actual needs. This privilege has been abused, and unless the residents of that section can be appealed to for a fuller observance of the law there is no satisfactory solution except by amendment of the organic act creating that park so as to provide complete game protection, as is done in the other parks.
RESTOCKING WITH NATIVE SPECIES FAVORED
While all the national parks are naturally stocked, we have in a few instances, with the concurrence of the Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture, favored the introduction of a few nonexotic species. A few years back a number of elk from Yellowstone National Park were liberated in Glacier Park, and while we have been unable to prevent the killing by Blackfeet Indians of many on the east side that seek the lower altitude on the adjoining reservation during the period of heavy snows and severe weather, there has been nevertheless a gradual increase noted. In Yosemite National Park the small herd of valley elk introduced there several years ago with the cooperation of the California Academy of Sciences is growing steadily. This fall the experiment of introducing a small band of antelope in the Grand Canyon, its former natire habitat, will be tried with the assistance of the Biological Survey, funds for the undertaking having been subscribed by private parties interested in the protection and propagation of the antelope.
ATTRACTIVENESS OF W
E A STIMULATION TO CONSERVATION
The important relationship that the national parks bear to the conservation of the wild life of the country has not been fully appreciated until lately. Aside from the economic value of native animals, which may be considered in their distribution to the other parts of the country for restocking purposes, their biggest value perhaps is their attractiveness in their natural environment to park visitors, thus stimulating as nothing else can a desire for game protection and conservation.
PARK ROAD PLANS
The Congress by the authorization act approved April 9, 1924, providing for a three-year program of road construction in the national parks and authorizing appropriations of $2,500,000 annually for the three-year period, gave immediate and definite recognition to the great need for road improvement in the national parks when called to its attention by your request for the passage of appropriate legislation to enable such improvement. Your request was approved by the President through the Bureau of the Budget which gave every aid in presenting this matter to the Congress. After hearings before the Committee on Public Lands of the House of Representatives during which the road situation was fully detailed and plans for road improvement in each park were presented, the committee unanimously reported the bill to the committee of the whole House with the recommendation that it pass. Placed on the unanimous consent calendar of the House it was passed unanimously on March 18. The Senate Public Lands Committee unanimously reported the bill to the
Senate and it passed that body unanimously on April 3. This legislative record clearly reflected the will of the people in demanding that the roads in the national parks be placed in a good and safe condition for motor travel.
After approval of the authorization act you submitted to the Bureau of the Budget a supplemental estimate of $2,500,000 covering the first instalment of the road budget funds, but demands on the Treasury due to the passage of the adjusted soldiers compensation act resulted in the President approving an estimate to be submitted to Congress for only a million dollars. In the hearings before the House Appropriation Committee it was brought out by members of the committee that the first million dollars would take care of about all the road work that could be accomplished between June and December of this year and that the second instalment of $2,500,000 of the road funds would be made available by March 1 next to cover construction work between that time and July 1, 1926. In view of the second instalment of funds being made immediately available, because of the peculiar situation in the national parks with regard to a short construction season, the House committee expressed the opinion that the appropriation of $1,000,000 as approved by the President, together with assurances that the additional money would be available early in the spring, was a substantial compliance with the spirit of the authorization act. It also was the opinion of the House committee that no new construction should be undertaken with the first appropriation of a million dollars but that this should be devoted solely to the reconstruction of existing park roads to place them as rapidly as possible in a safe and traversable condition.
WORK CAN BE HANDLED BY OUR ENGINEERING FORCES
Unfortunately the second deficiency bill carrying this million of road funds failed of passage in the closing hours of the first session and all plans for immediate action had to be postponed. We were enabled, however, to keep our skeleton engineering forces, which will be expanded to take care of the larger program, busy on specific road construction, for which funds were included in the regular Interior Department appropriation act in advance of the passage of the park road authorization act.
While this million dollars will probably be made available on the passage of the pending deficiency bill when Congress meets in December, the present orking season has been lost. Careful planning ahead by the engineering forces leads me to state with conviction that we will be able to handle this increased work next year, and in the Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Platt, Oklahoma, parks the contemplated road work can be pushed through to completion this winter.
ROADS WILL OPEN UNDÉVELOPED PARKS
While the road program calls for reconstruction of much of the existing roadway, considerable new construction will be undertaken to open parks in which to date the Federal Government has not authorized any road work. Such parks for instance as Mount McKinley, Alaska, Hawaii in the territory of Hawaii, and Lassen Volcanic, California, have never had any road development and
until roads are constructed the park areas can not be developed for motor travel. Especially are motorists demanding access into Lassen Volcanic Park. I'ourist travel to Alaska and over the Governmentowned Alaska Railroad will be greatly stimulated by the construction of a road into Mount McKinley Park to permit visitors to see at close hand the herds of caribou and mountain sheep and magnificent scenery of the region.
IMPORTANT THAT ROAD PROGRAM BE PUSHED
The park road budget as outlined to the Congress in the presentation of the authorization bill is without question the most important constructive program in connection with the development of the national parks and placing the national park system on a self supporting basis, and I can not too strongly urge that the authorization act be followed as closely as possible in requesting appropriations to put the road work under full speed at the earliest possible date. The motorists are annually contributing substantial returns to the Government for the use of the highways and other facilities provided for camping out and they are entitled to the utmost consideration and return in the way of good roads that the condition of the Federal Treasury warrants.
A MODEST BUDGET
Returns to the Government for the period 1917 to 1924 from automobile license fees alone have amounted to $1,814,779.50. In 1917 the revenue from this source was $90,969 while in 1924 the automobile license fees totaled $426,908.50. During the same period, 1917–1924, Congressional appropriations for new road construction in the national parks amounted to only $1,443,600. Total appropriations and authorizations for national forest roads covering fiscal years 1917 to 1926 amount to $52,000,000 and for the fiscal years 1917 to 1925, $540,000,000 has been appropriated or authorized for Federal aid to State roads. The park road budget authorizing $7,500,000 to be expended over a three-year period is, comparatively, a modest program.
SOME PARK APPROACH ROADS ENTITLED TO LARGER FEDERAL AID
In this connection the question of a greater proportion of Federal aid toward the construction and improvement of some of the approach roads to national parks also has been given by the Congress and a measure to accomplish this purpose is now pending, having been introduced by Congressman Colton, of Utah. This measure has been indorsed by a number of western organizations interested in good roads. While over $23,000,000 has been spent on national park approach roads in 14 States since 1915, in several of the big public-land States with little-populated sections, it is impossible to expect them to build modern highways through such sections without a greater proportion of Federal aid. To attempt to do so would throw them into bankruptcy. To enable these States to construct adequate approach roads to the national parks, used primarily by tourists to these parks from all parts of the United States, a larger degree of Federal aid must be extended in their construction.
In considering our own plans for park road development we now have 1,060.5 miles of roads. It is proposed to reconstruct 391.5 miles by widening, reduction of grade, and putting in a base that will be permanent and permit paving or some other hard surfacing when such construction shall become necessary or desirable. It is proposed under the present program to surface 353.6 miles of road, most of which will be with crushed rock or gravel. It is proposed to build 360.85 miles of new road, much of which will be built through solid rock that will at once form a good base for future paving. The first estimated amount of $7,500,000 for the three-year program will probably not be sufficient to construct as high-type roads as it is planned to build in the parks, yet every dollar will be put in permanent development so when paving is necessary in the future not one dollar will have been wasted.
PARKS NOT TO BE GRIDIRONED WITH ROADS
It is not the plan to have the parks gridironed with roads, but in each it is desired to make a good sensible road system so that visitors may have a good chance to enjoy them. At the same time large sections of each park will be kept in a natural wilderness state without piercing feeder roads and will be accessible only by trails by the horseback rider and the hiker. All this has been carefully considered in laying out our road program. Particular attention also will be given to laying out the roads themselves so that they will disturb as little as possible the vegetation, forests, and rocky hillsides through which they are built. In this work the landscape engineering division cooperates closely with the civil engineering forces, and the latter also by separate instruction have been ordered to exercise the greatest care in the protection of the landscape in all road construction work. Especially fine work along this line has been accomplished in Yellowstone, Lafayette, and Sequoia National Parks.
In concluding this discussion of the parks' vital need for roads it should be remembered that park and monument travel has increased from about 200,000 persons a year in 1914 to over 1,600,000 persons in the season just closed. By the time this road program can be completed there will probably be double that number going through the parks and easily 500,000 automobiles. The road situation in the parks thus presents a serious problem, the only solution of which is to get the improvements under way at the earliest possible date and push them to completion as fast as it is possible.
NEW NATIONAL PARKS
While no new national parks were actually added to the system, the creation of the Utah National Park was provided for in legislation enacted by the Sixty-eighth Congress in the closing hours of the first session and approved by the President on June 7, 1924. The area to be thus set aside includes the famous Bryce Canyon in southwestern Utah, a box canyon 2 miles wide by 3 miles long cut 1,000 feet into the top of Paunsaugunt Plateau. It drains toward the southeast and overlooks the Colorado River, 75 miles distant.
Bryce Canyon is now included within the Bryce Canyon National Monument, which is administered by the Department of Agricul
ture, but the act elevating it to national park status provides that before the new designation shall become effective all the lands within the exterior boundaries must first become the property of the United States. There are 640 acres of land in the park area owned by the State and the Union Pacific Railroad. Provision is made in the act for the exchange of alienated lands in both this and Zion National Park, Utah, for unappropriated and unreserved public lands of equal value and approximately equal area outside of these parks in the State of Utah. Negotiations have been opened with the railroad and the State for the transfer of their holdings to the Federal Government, but the Union Pacific Railroad has not shown a disposition to give up its holdings, which is the key location to future development of the area.
NEW NATIONAL MONUMENTS ESTABLISHED
Two new national monuments were established by Presidential proclamation and placed under the administration of the Department of the Interior, increasing the number of monuments so administered to 30.
CARLSBAD CAVE, N. MEX.
The Carlsbad Cave National Monument in New Mexico was established October 25, 1923. The monument is located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico, 25 miles southwest of Carisbad. The waters have dug out at least half a dozen large caverns by dissolving the thick beds of gypsum and rock salt imbedded in the shale.
Although it has been explored for several miles underground, there are still many portions of Carlsbad Cave yet unexplored, and its size is a matter of conjecture, although the National Geographic Society now has an expedition at the cavern making detailed explorations. The area of the present monument is 719.22 acres, but investigations are now under way to determine the advisability of increasing its size. Pending the result of these investigations 82,710 acres of public land surrounding the monument have been withdrawn from entry and settlement by Executive order dated April 2, 1924.
The cave is open to the public at present only under the guidance of its original discoverer, who has been given a guide permit by the Government. The only means of entrance is through a hole in the roof, through which one is lowered 200 feet in a bucket. The cavern, of course, is in darkness, with many steep drops from one level to another, and slippery declivities. An appropriation of $5,000 was carried in the Interior Department appropriation act for 1925 for the purpose of driving a tunnel into one of the inner chambers of the cavern so that access on an easy grade might be afforded visitors, but recent investigations developed the fact that such a tunnel would cost about $18,000.
CRATERS OF THE MOON, IDAHO
In the semiarid portion of the Snake River Plateau in south central Idaho, at the foot of the White Komb Mountains, lies the newest national monument, the Craters of the Moon, which was