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Olympic National Park: An Administrative History
I reviewed only Chapter 9.

Chapter 9 - Concessions and Visitor Facilities

p. 149: When Fred Overly became Olympic National Park superintendent in 1951, he moved to acquire many privately owned concession facilities to improve them under Park Service ownership or to close them. Overly's management philosophy, to provide either quality concessions or no concessions, has persisted to the present time. In 1967, superintendent Bennett Gale refused to renew the permit to operate Olympic Hot Springs. Gale also began the process of acquiring Sol Duc Hot Springs. Olympic Hot Springs was razed after Roger Allin became superintendent in 1970. Health hazards at Sol Duc Hot Springs were improved around 1974, enabling the facility to remain open. All concessions are now owned by the Park Service.

p. 154: Following World War II, both Hurricane Ridge and Soleduck Park (Heart Lake) were evaluated for the location of a new visitor lodge. Hurricane Ridge was selected in August 1946. The lodge was begun in 1952 and completed in 1954. Skiing activities at Deer Park were transferred to Hurricane Ridge and the Deer Park operation closed. Superintendent Fred Overly envisioned overnight accommodations on Hurricane Ridge. The new Heart O'The Hills road was completed by the beginning of 1957. A report prepared in 1959 found that "there is no real public demand for overnight accommodations at Hurricane Ridge." The report also found that the construction of a facility designed as a ski lodge was a mistake, because the facility received its heaviest use during the summer months. The report recommended that winter use be "de-emphasized" and that the old Elwha Road be completely abandoned.

p. 156: The management of shelters, especially in the backcountry, changed following the emergence of the 1960s wilderness philosophy. No shelters were built in the park's backcountry until Superintendent Fred Overly (1951-58) "embarked on a program of building small, log-sided shelters, mostly in the higher country where none existed before." By the mid-1970s overuse had caused such damage that Roger Allin (1970-76) began to remove the shelters. The Forest Service began a similar removal program at this time. Allin removed 28 backcountry shelters from 1974 to 1976. In 1978, Allin's successor James Coleman (1977-79) responded to public protest by accepting the need for the continued existence of backcountry shelters. His policy was to locate shelters away from alpine lake shores and higher country, in most cases well below tree line. In the fall of 1980, Roger Contor (1979-83) announced plans to raze Three Lakes Shelter. A group including Dick Pargeter, Larry Penberthy, the Friends of the Olympic Trail Shelters, the National Park Users Defense Fund, and the Mt Rainier Defense Fund filed suit to force the Park Service to remove the population restrictions placed upon backcountry in both Olympic and Mt Rainier National Parks since 1972. The Olympic suit was dismissed. The Mt Rainier suit went to trial and the plaintiffs' case was found to be groundless. The number of shelters to be maintained in Olympic National Park has been clearly defined by the park.

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Last Updated: Thu Nov 11 19:08:37 PST 2004