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Administrative center under way With the erection of a new administration building, now practically completed, a start was made toward the development of the new administrative center in Yosemite Valley, plans for which were worked out a year ago. This building will be followed closely by the erection of a post-office building, contract for which has already been let, and a little later by a museum building, funds for which have been made available from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial.
These three buildings, together with the Rangers' and Officers' Clubhouse, constructed in 1921, will form the nucleus of a civic center which will include in addition, studios and stores, construction on part of which will likely be started during the autumn of 1924. This administrative or civic center will gradually replace the existing Yosemite Village in which administrative and commercial activities have been carried on for years in wholly inadequate buildings.
In working out the plans for this unit most careful attention has been paid to landscape effects and building plans so that the final result will appropriately conform to the natural landscape.
State fish hatchery assured The assurance by State authorities in June, 1924, of the State's intention to erect å fish hatchery in Yosemite Valley brings to an end negotiations that have been under way for the past seven years with the erection of such a building as an object.
This word comes at an opportune time when, because of drought conditions, losses of fish resulting from the drying up of mountain streams will be heavy and result in a need for materially increased efforts in securing fry for the restocking of the lakes and streams. The fishing of the streams and lakes in the park during the past few years has increased extensively due to the rapid increase in travel from year to year accompanied by the general tendency of visitors to the park to utilize the back country of the park more and
The park has always been dependent upon the State Fish and Game Commission for its fry for restocking purposes but the output of the State hatcheries has never been sufficient to allow the commission to allot anything like the fry needed for the park. The installation of a two-million-egg hatchery, as proposed by the State, will help materially to relieve the shortage and will undoubtedly be deeply appreciated by the thousands of fishermen who whip Yosemite streams from year to year.
Hikers' camps idea expanded The inauguration last year of a scheme of installation of small camps at short intervals along Yosemite's trails for the furnishing of accommodations to those seeing the park on foot was met with such appreciation as to justify the continuation of the experiment again this year, and the service was expanded by the installation by the Yosemite National Park Co. of two additional camps, mak
ing five in all. Two others it was intended to install were omitted from this year's program of expansion because of the uncertain travel conditions.
The plan is still in its experimental stages but even under the extraordinarily unfavorable conditions of this year the camps were patronized sufficiently to warrant the belief that eventually such camps will be installed at such points throughout the park as to enable the hiker to secure accommodations at points within easy day's hikes, thereby eliminating the necessity of carrying bedding and supplies, and therefore adding much enjoyment and comfort to the visitor to the back country.
Yosemite all-year highway
In December, 1924, a convict camp was installed at Briceburg on the Merced River and work on the construction of the last section, 17 miles in length, of Yosemite's all-year highway, was begun by the California State Highway Commission. An average of approximately 225 convicts have been employed on this work since that time and approximately 6 miles of this 17-mile stretch have now been completed. The road is being built to a full 30-foot width, on easy grades, and in accordance with the best modern highway construction methods and specifications.
It is estimated that this road will be ready for travel by the spring of 1926.
With this completed, Yosemite will be accessible by automobile throughout the year, and it goes without saying that the park will experience from the beginning a material increase in travel.
Miscellaneous park improvements With the idea of better service to the public always uppermost in mind, several improvement projects were continued during the year. under funds authorized by Congress.
A ranger station and public-comfort station were installed at the foot of the Wawona grade, and plans were completed for the installation of similar units at the Alder Creek ranger station on the Wawona road, and the El Capitan ranger station at the foot of the Big Oak Flat grade, and a ranger station and small administrative headquarters at Tuolumne Meadows on the Tioga Road. Work on these latter units is now in progress and they will be ready for the 1925 automobile travel season.
Heavier wire was also installed on 2 of the 7 miles of the highpower transmission line between the park power plant, near Cascade Creek, and the transformer station near Yosemite Lodge. This is a continuation of work started three years ago and with the completion: of restringing of approximately a mile and a half of the line now under way, the great saving in line losses in the transmission of electrical energy between the power plant and points of distribution in the valley will materially increase the effective output of the plant and the revenue accruing from the sale of power.
The continued extension of the park sewer system and the installation of nine additional comfort stations in the public camp grounds represent the continuation of a three-year-old project which
will be completed essentially as originally planned, with the additional extensions now under way, and by 1925 every unit of operation in Yosemite Valley will be supplied with modern sanitary facilities connected to a safe and complete sewage disposal system, sufficient to readily care for a population of from twelve to fifteen thousand people.
No relief on road situation The failure of Congress to appropriate moneys for road improvement in the parks as authorized by park road act leaves the road situation in Ťosemite in the same deplorable state reported in past years. The completion of the all-year highway into the park will, by the increase of travel it is bound to bring and the accompanying increase in use of the park roads, further aggravate matters unless in the meantime relief can be secured by the appropriation of money for the improvement of park roads.
Thousands of dollars are being spent annually in maintenance, and with hopelessly inadequate results, of the roads on the floor of Yosemite Valley that can only be avoided by permanent paving. Other thousands are being spent annually with no permanent results in keeping the mountain roads only reasonably passable, a situation that can only be improved by complete reconstruction of roads to safe widths and reasonable grades.
Need of improved hospital facilities Last year and in previous years the necessity for improved hospital facilities, particularly the need of a new hospital building, to meet the increasing demands for medical and hospital service in Yosemite has been reported.
These improvements must be made at an early date to relieve a bad situation. An estimate has been placed in the Budget covering this item, which I trust will be given the favorable consideration by the Bureau of the Budget and Congress that it warrants.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZ.
The season at Grand Canyon National Park was quite successful. Roads and trails were for the first time maintained in a satisfactory manner, increased maintenance funds having been secured. A longneeded community building, two sets of quarters, and a paint shop were constructed at administrative headquarters. Funds are available for two ranger cabins and barns in outlying sections of the park and these will be completed during the year. With the exception of the proposed building development on the north rim very little further building will have to be done other than that necessitated by the adoption of the Grand Canyon village development plan.
Comprehensive plan for future development adopted The outstanding accomplishment of the year was the adoption of a comprehensive plan for all future development at and near Grand Canyon Village on the south rim. The Park Service landscape engineers, the Santa Fe System engineers, and Fred Harvey officials are to be congratulated on the excellent results attained. I am also indebted to Myron Hunt of Los Angeles for his advice and assistance in connection with this plan. Many complicated problems were worked out to the satisfaction of all interests concerned and structures no longer will be located hit or miss, but with the assurance that they will fit in the development scheme for all time to come as far as contingencies can be foreseen. For the first time all parties concerned can build for permanence. The plan provides for a new administration building and new superintendent's residence at proper locations.
All-year roads for the South Rim
While Grand Canyon National Park is open all year, there are only 7.5 miles of all-year road. Consequently visitors in the winter months who do not ride over the canyon trails can visit but a small section of the park and almost invariably shorten their stay. The system of improvement projected under the park road act contemplates rebuilding roads east and west from the end of the railroad at El Tovar. East it is planned to build to Grand View and Desert View, points on the rim from which magnificent views of the canyon are had, and west 34 miles to the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Havasu Canyon. Due to an abundance of road material near all projected roads the construction of all-year highways will be comparatively inexpensive. It is hoped that funds under the road budget will be granted by Congress so that road work may be pushed as rapidly as possible. On completion of the projected work visitors may see practically all of the park lying south of the Colorado River in winter or summer and will make longer stays in the park in order to see all of its attractions.
A south approach road and the Bright Angel Trail
The Interior Department appropriation act for 1925 contains the following authorization:
For the construction of trails within the Grand Canyon National Park, $100,000, to be immediately available and to remain available until expended : Provided, That said sum may be used by the Secretary of the Interior for the purchase from the county of Coconino, Ariz., of the Bright Angel toll road and trail within said park under such terms and conditions as he may deem proper and the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to construct an approach road from the National Old Trails Highway to the south boundary of said park.
This authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to purchase the Bright Angel Toll Road and Trail within the park from the county of Coconino under such terms and conditions as he may deem proper or authorizes the construction of trails within the park to the amount of $100,000. The Secretary of the Interior is further authorized to construct an approach road from the National Old Trails Highway to the south boundary of the park.
Under negotiations carried on in 1923 members of the board of supervisors of Coconino County, Ariz., addressed a letter to you to the effect that if Congress would appropriate not less than the sum of $100,000 that could be expended on the construction of a road between Maine, Ariz., and the south boundary of the park, the