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STATEMENT OF GEORGE B. HARTZOG, JR., DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
I am pleased to appear before you again to report on our management of the National Park System and to review with you our plans, programs, and fund requirements for the forthcoming year.
At the outset, let me express my deep appreciation for your constructive participation as our partners in presenting America's natural and cultural heritage and in preserving it for the benefit and enjoyment of our posterity. Your strong support, interest, and enthusiasm mean much to each of us in the National Park Service in our efforts to manage the National Park System. Without your helpful suggestions, guidance and confidence we simply could not have accomplished that which has been achieved.
It is a pleasure, also, to appear before the newly appointed Member of the Subcommittee, Representative Obey.
We stand ready to serve you in every way we can, and we look forward with pleasure to working with each of you in this second session of the 91st Congress.
The National Park System, An Old Program
A New Relevancy
The National Park System is a living legacy linking generation to generation and century to century.
From 1872--when Yellowstone National Park was established--to 1906 the purpose of the National Park System was the preservation of large areas of scenic grandeur as public parks for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
The Congress broadened the concept and purpose of the National Park System in 1906, when, largely in response to the depredations on the Indian ruins of the Southwest, it authorized the President, by Proclamation, to establish national monuments on lands owned or controlled by the United States to preserve historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other areas of historic or scientific interest.
In the midthirties the Congress again broadened the concept and purpose of the National Park System:
First, the act of March 3, 1933, providing for reorganization within the Executive Branch, resulted in an Executive Order transferring to the Department of the Interior for administration by the National Park Service the national memorials and parks of our Nation's Capital, many national monuments, and historical and military parks administered by other Federal agencies.
Second, in the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935, the Congress enunciated a national policy, charging the Secretary of the Interior
through the National Park Service, to preserve for public use historic sites, buildings and objects of national significance for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States. Today, historic areas represent more than one-half of all of the areas of the National Park System.
More recently, as the result of the creative work of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission appointed in 1958, the national recreation areas added to the National Park System have accelerated in response to the burgeoning demands of our urban society for outdoor recreational opportunities.
Thus, the National Park System has evolved until today, in more than 270 areas, it is concerned with the preservation of natural wonders and scenic grandeur; the protection of places of scientific interest; the conmemoration of the places and the sources of our greatness and of our prosperity; and the management of natural and man-made environments, primarily, for healthful outdoor recreational opportunities.
Our Nation began with migrations, grew with migrations, and remains a Nation of people on the move.
Love of locality is one of the roots of social cohesion, according to Charles E. Merriam, who was one of our greatest political scientists. But in a new country like the United States, and in a society where one family in five moves each year, and where we have over 80 million automobiles, we have a hard time developing local roots of the kind familiar to Englishmen in Sussex, Frenchmen in Brittany, or Irishmen in County Cork. Our national parks like Yosemite and Grand Canyon, and our historic places like Independence Hall, the Lincoln Memorial, and Mount Vernon, take the place of local roots for tens of millions of mobile Americans. They give us the assurance of a "sense of place" expressive of our country that we can tie to permanently, wherever we move or live.
Many people go to the national parks and landmarks not simply to satisfy a need to get back to nature from crowded cities or for outdoor recreation. Many people go to the national parks and landmarks to strengthen their identity with their country. "Seeing is believing," and touching the Liberty Bell or setting foot in Yosemite Valley is worth a long trip to experience a sense of identity with America where it is unchanging. It isn't subtle. It's the deep human need to know "I was there" at Independence Hall or Yosemite Valley; and, as a result am a little more of an American. This experience is especially needed in these times of war, turmoil, and technological change.
Beyond our need to identify with the Nation is the urgent need to understand our place in the world environment and to join hands in doing our part to rescue it from impending ecological disaster. As Freeman Tilden put it, we need "to understand our place in nature and among men. We will reach this objective more quickly and we will heal our environment more rapidly if we develop social cohesion "at home" by learning we
are one people with a common heritage well expressed in the National Park System. As we achieve social harmony we will do better in joining together to recover our natural heritage and that of the world around us.
When the bill to create a National Park Service was under consideration in Congress in 1916, J. Horace McFarland testified before the House Committee on Public Lands :
* * * the word "park" in the minds of most of us suggests a
McFarland's conclusions are even more relevant for today's urban society. For, a park police officer, in describing the impact of "Summerin-the-Parks" on his work, observed: "We now play with the youngsters in the parks, rather than chase them on the streets."
Following his review of the management of the National Park System, Secretary Hickel issued policy guidelines, summarized as follows:
The National Park Service-
1. should operate campgrounds rather than lease them to concessioners;
2. initiate study of opportunities which may exist, as well as financing proposals, for an expanded program of Federal acquisition and federally assisted acquisition of park and recreation lands in large urban centers in order to bring PARKS TO PEOPLE;
3. innovate programs, especially in the Nation's urban parklands, to make parks more meaningful to people;
4. make parks and park facilities more available for neighboring school districts;
5. initiate mass transportation services, such as shuttle busses, tramways, etc., to lessen the impact of private automobile congestion now threatening the quality of several of our most popular national parks;
6. explore possibilities for increasing the participation of private citizens, the business community, and organizations in nature and historic preservation;
speed up wilderness studies to get this program on schedule;
8. identify gaps in the National Park System that should be filled by establishing new parks to preserve the heritage of our history and our natural environment;
9. work with colleges and universities to develop joint training opportunities for young people seeking careers in park and recreation programs;
10. plan appropriate activities to commemorate the Centennial of National Parks in 1972. Incidentally, Yellowstone--the world's first national park--was established in 1872 during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant;
11. work in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation to plan programs for developing the recreational and cultural resources of the Indian people, thus enhancing the economy of our Indian Reservations.
"In summary" Secretary Hickel said, "the National Park System represents those precious and irreplaceable remnants of our natural world and the landmarks of our cultural inheritance. To understand the strands of our heritage is to have pride in, and love for, our country. Recognition and appreciation of these roots of our society will generate a sense of stability and continuity among our citizens, increasing millions of whom are isolated by asphalt and concrete in our metropolitan centers.
"Through program innovation in response to the changing needs of our society and by sensitive management, the National Park System can contribute enormously to our national goals of enhancing the life of every American and supporting the effort to articulate an environmental ethic as a rule of human conduct. Let this be your constant guide as we approach the decade of the seventies."
The richness and the magnitude of our natural and cultural inheritance transcend those superlative examples included by the Congress in the National Park System.
Thus, the Congress, wisely, has directed the National Park Service, through park management, archeology, history, and historic preservation, to develop cooperative programs with States, local governments, and private organizations and individuals to preserve and interpret our Nation's natural and cultural inheritance.
In the Historic American Buildings Survey--sponsored jointly by the National Park Service, the American Institute of Architects, and the Library of Congress--more than 15,000 historic structures have been measured, photographed, and recorded in architectural drawings on file
in the Library of Congress. This rich resource of information is one of the most heavily used collections in the Library. More than 8,000 copies of these records were purchased by the public in 1968. Cash contributions to this program exceeded $84,000 in 1969.
In cooperation with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Library of Congress, the Service is now embarked on a program to identify the nationally significant engineering landmarks of our culture. This cooperative program adds a rich new dimension to private-governmental cooperation in the pursuit of a quality environment.
In the Historic Sites Survey, about 900 national historic landmarks have been identified and recorded in the National Register. Most of these landmarks are in private ownership. They involve untold millions of dollars in physical resources, supported by still more millions of dollars in private contributions for their annual maintenance and interpretation. A companion program--the Natural Landmarks Survey--encourages the preservation of the small--yet precious--remnants of our rich natural heritage. These landmarks, too, for the most part are owned and managed by private organizations and individuals.
In the National Environmental Education Landmarks program, the Service cooperates with State and local governments and private organizations and individuals in the identification, recognition, and preservation of sites used by local school systems in teaching environmental education. One State--Pennsylvania--by statute requires its school systems to teach environmental education. Other States have programs for encouraging and assisting in such teaching programs. The role of the Service is twofold: (1) to encourage the setting aside and making available resources representing the American heritage for instruction in environmental education; and (2) to encourage schools--public and private--to develop curriculumrelated programs in connection with such lands for teaching environmental conservation, thus keeping alive and strengthening the national commitment to heal our environment and enhance the quality of life in our time.
Through the Archeological Salvage Program, more than 60 universities and other institutions of higher learning work with the National Park Service in conducting the archeological salvage program of the Nation. Contributions of these institutions in matching cash amount to more than $215,000 annually. More significant, however, are the noncash contributions of faculty and students in uncompensated time and effort.
Through matching grants-in-aid, the Service cooperates with the States in surveying and identifying landmarks of regional, State, and local significance for inclusion in the National Register. Again, on a matching grants-in-aid basis the Service cooperates with the States and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in programs to restore, preserve, manage, and interpret the historical properties so identified.
In no sector of our national life has private enterprise responded more generously to the national effort to restore and to maintain the