Conservation and the National Parks in the United States and Canada Documents
U.S. NATIONAL PARKS GENERAL INFORMATION
  • Report of the Director of the National Park Service to the Secretary of Interior, 1917. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1917.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The National Park Service had just been created in 1916. A significant portion of this document addressed the current state and future potential of auto tourism in the national parks. This particular selection from the larger report also includes summaries of annual reports from Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
  • Northern Pacific Railway Company. Land of Geysers Yellowstone National Park. St. Paul, MN: Northern Pacific Railway Company, 1913.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • Northern Pacific Railway Company played a significant role in the creation of Yellowstone National Park and, as this document attested, its subsequent promotion as a major tourist destination. The document provided an important glimpse into park tourism prior to the boom in automobile tourism in the 1920s. It promoted transport to the park via the Northern Pacific Railway and touring of the park itself via horse-drawn coaches.
  • Riley, William C. Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park: A Manual for Tourists. St. Paul, MN: W.C. Riley, 1889.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The manual provided yet another example of how Yellowstone National Park was promoted as a major tourist destination very early in its existence. It addressed all of the major tourist sites within the park.
  • United States Department of Interior. Rules, Regulations and Instructions for the Information and Guidance of Officers and Enlisted Men of the United States Army, and of Scouts Doing Duty in the Yellowstone National Park. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1907.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The U.S. Army was responsible for protecting Yellowstone National Park from 1886 until 1918. Even after the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, the U.S. Army continued to serve as the primary protector of Yellowstone National Park until the U.S. entered World War I. They provided significant service to the park. This pocket-sized pamphlet provided a quick and practical reference for the soldiers of conservation during their tours of duty in Yellowstone National Park.
  • "Indian Marauders," Forest and Stream April 4, 1889 / "A Case for Prompt Action," Forest and Stream April 11, 1889 / "Their Right to Roam," Forest and Stream April 18, 1889. PDF
    • Forest and Stream was popular periodical for hunting and fishing enthusiasts in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. George Bird Grinnell, prominent sportsman, amateur ethnologist, committed conservationist, and close friend of Theodore Roosevelt, founded and edited the periodical, which was published in New York City. During the 1930s, Forest and Stream would be absorbed by Field and Stream. This particular series of articles addressed the growing concern amongst white American sportsman about Shoshone and Bannock Indians leaving their reservations to take game and set fires within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. The damage caused by the fires that were set to flush out and drive the game animals was especially disconcerting to the editor and readers of Forest and Stream. The articles decried the lack of action taken by Indian agents to prevent such "depredations" and called for "prompt action." The last article argued that the Indians had no treaty rights that exempted from the prohibitions on hunting within Yellowstone National Park.
      For additional background, see Mark David Spence, Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Public Lands. To Establish Glacier National Park in Montana. 60th Cong., 1st sess., 1908. Committee Report No. 580.
    PDF
    • The document provided official commentary regarding the possible establishment of a Glacier National Park. Discussion centered on whether or not the area included any valuable natural resources and the aesthetic qualities of the landscape and wildlife. The document included a map of the proposed area for Glacier National Park.

  • Report of the Superintendent of the Glacier National Park to the Secretary of Interior 1911. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1911.
    PDF
    • Glacier National Park was established in 1910 and this was the first annual report regarding it. The report identified Glacier's natural attractions and called for developments to foster greater tourist access to these attractions. It also outlined rules and regulations and requested additional funds for enforcement of hunting prohibitions. The Superintendent lamented that there were not enough wardens to police the hunters taking game from Glacier National Park.
  • Record Group 79 National Park Service. General Records, Central Files, 1907-1939. "Game Protection" Folders. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C.
    Government Publications and Correspondence 28 July 1910 to 23 October 1911 PDF
    Correspondence 14 October 1911 to 30 December 1912 PDF
    Correspondence 2 January 1913 to 7 January 1913 PDF
    • These records include extensive official correspondence regarding wildlife management in Glacier National Park during its early years. The park managers were particularly intent on perpetuating and protecting "charismatic fauna" such as the elk that were attractive to potential tourists.
  • Record Group 79 National Park Service. General Records, Central Files, 1907-1939. "Game Protection" Folders. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C.
    Select Correspondence Regarding the Blackfeet Indians and Glacier National Park, 1912-1918
    • These records documented the clash between wildlife conservation in Glacier National Park and the sovereignty and treaty rights of the neighboring Blackfeet Indians. Although Glacier National Park would employ Blackfeet Indians in traditional dress to appeal to the tastes and expectations of visiting white tourists, the park managers were deeply disturbed by Blackfeet Indians who engaged in traditional hunting practices and took elk and deer that roamed in the park or that wandered outside of the park onto the adjacent Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The official correspondence documented the park managers' concerns and to a lesser extent those of the Blackfeet Indians regarding hunting in the area. These records also document the ways that the park managers sought to circumscribe the hunting practices of the Blackfeet Indians.
    • Before reading these documents, you will want to familiarize yourself with the 1855 treaty between the Blackfeet Indians and the United States. For a full-text version of the treaty, consult the authoritative Charles Kappler, compiled and edited, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904); an online version can be accessed through the Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project website which is coordinated by the University of Oklahoma Law Library and the National Indian Law Library of the Native American Rights Fund. Here is a direct link to the full-text of the Treaty with the Blackfeet, 1855.
      For additional background, see Mark David Spence, Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) and Louis S. Warren, The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997).

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN CANADA
  • Canada Commission of Conservation. Committee on Fisheries, Game and Fur-Bearing Animals. Conservation of Fish, Birds and Game. Proceedings at a Meeting of the Committee, November 1 and 2, 1915. Toronto: The Methodist Book and Publishing House, 1916.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • Several of these excerpts, particularly W. N. Millar's paper on "The Big Game of the Canadian Rockies," contended that Indian hunting depleted valuable animal populations and argued for greater restrictions on hunting by Indians. Such contentions and arguments paralleled those articulated by the administrators of Glacier National Park in the United States during this general time period (See entry and documents for Record Group 79 National Park Service. General Records, Central Files, 1907-1939. "Game Protection" Folders. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C. Select Correspondence Regarding the Blackfeet Indians and Glacier National Park, 1912-1918 above.).
  • Canada Commission of Conservation. National Conference on Conservation of Game, Fur-Bearing Animals and Other Wild Life. Ottawa: J. de L. Tache, 1919.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • These excerpts from the conference include the presentations and discussions regarding the issue of Indian hunting and wildlife conservation. Wildlife conservationists in Canada continued to consider it a significant issue. The commentary, presentations, and discussions on the subject at this particular conference should be compared with those at the conference in 1916. (Again, see entry and documents for Record Group 79 National Park Service. General Records, Central Files, 1907-1939. "Game Protection" Folders. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C. Select Correspondence Regarding the Blackfeet Indians and Glacier National Park, 1912-1918 above for comparisons with the wildlife conservation and American Indians in the United States.).

  • Hewitt, C. Gordon. The Conservation of the Wild Life of Canada. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • C. Gordon Hewitt served as the Dominion Entomologist and Consulting Zoologist for the Dominion of Canada from 1909 to 1920. During this service, he became a major authority on Canadian wildlife and conservation policy. He died in 1920, and this important work was published posthumously. These excerpts from the larger work highlight his insights and reflections on the reasons and purposes for wildlife conservation and the progress and future of wildlife conservation in Canada.
    • Regarding the issue of Indian hunting and wildlife conservation, Hewitt offered some nuanced commentary. He commented, "Further, our moral obligations to the Indians render it necessary that means shall be taken to ensure them an adequate food supply and a potential source of revenue. This opens up the large question of the relation of the Indians to wild-life conservation to which further reference will be made later. But it cannot be too often remarked that the Indian, when unspoiled by white men, is traditionally a conserver of wild life, that is, he uses it but does not exterminate it. . . . (see pages 12-13). Later in the work, he quoted "The Sportsman's Code of Ethics" put forth by his wildlife conservation counterpart in the United States William T. Hornaday whom he greatly admired. The Code included the following provision, " 'An Indian has no more right to kill wild game, or to subsist upon it all the year round, than any white man in the same locality. The Indian has no inherent or God-given ownership of the game of North America, any more than of its natural resources; and he should be governed by the same game laws as white men' " (see page 298). Such statements ignored Indian sovereignty and treaty rights north and south of the U.S.-Canadian border.

NATIONAL PARKS IN CANADA
  • Canada. Department of the Interior. National Parks Branch. Report of the Commissioner of Canadian National Parks 1920. Ottawa: 1921.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The 1920 report noted a positive trend of increased visitation to the national parks with the end of World War I in 1918. The report generally reflected a focus on developing and promoting tourism in the parks. It addressed recreational opportunities, road development, and wildlife. Discussion of wildlife in the parks largely centered around birds and mammals of particular interest to potential visitors.
  • Canada. Department of the Interior. National Parks Branch. Report of the Commissioner of Canadian National Parks 1922. Ottawa: F. A. Acland, 1923.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The 1922 report reflected the continuing focus on tourist development and promotion.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway. Passenger Department. Summer Tours by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Montreal: Passenger Department of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1887.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The brochure promotes natural scenery and outdoor recreation in Canada. Its intended audience was not only Canadians but also others in the British Empire.
  • Dominion of Canada. Department of Interior. Dominion Parks Branch. Handbook of the Rocky Mountains Park Museum. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1914.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • These excerpts highlight the information and resources provided by the Rocky Mountains Park Museum regarding the Native peoples of the region. The general emphasis of the natural history museum was on their history and material culture rather than their contemporary circumstances.
  • Dominion of Canada. Department of Interior. Report of the Commissioner of Dominion Parks 1913. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1914.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • These excerpts provide a snapshot of park development prior to the onset of World War I. Not surprisingly, there was significant commentary on the tourist potential of the parks that had yet to be fully realized. The report addressed the "commercial side of the parks," but it emphasized that it "is only an incident, though indeed a very important one. National Parks exist primarily to serve the needs of the Dominion's own people" (p. 8). However, according to the report, the chief service rendered to the people seemed to be recreation, which had some connection with the "commercial side of the parks."
  • Dominion of Canada. Department of Interior. Report of the Commissioner of Dominion Parks 1918. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1918.
    Excerpts in PDF.
    • The excerpts include discussion of reduced budgetary allocations during World War I and provide some insights into the challenges of operations during such national crises.

  • "National Park and Hot Springs," and "Mr. Whitcher's Report." In Annual Report of the Department of Interior. Ottawa: Maclean, Roger & Co., 1888.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The correspondence and reports regarding the "National Park and Hot Springs" included assessments of the facilities and services in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the proposals for Federal Government taking control of them. The Canadian officials believed that the American experience with these particular hot springs could be instructive for their own handling of the hot springs in the vicinity of Banff. Mineral springs were believed to have medicinal properties.
    • "Mr. Whitcher's Report" described the fauna of the "Canadian National Park" at Banff, and it recommended policies for propagating and preserving regional fauna. The recommendations included some references to policies implemented at Yellowstone National Park.
  • "Report of the Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park." In Annual Report of the Department of Interior 1887. Ottawa: Maclean, Roger & Co., 1888.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • The report addressed some of the infrastructural shortcomings in the park. Along these lines, it relayed concerns about poor access to the hot springs in the park and the need to better accommodate such visitation.
  • Williams, M. B. Through the Heart of the Rockies and Selkirks. Ottawa: Sir James Lougheed, Minister of Interior, 1921.
    Excerpts in PDF
    • This government-funded guidebook trumpeted the recreational value of the parks in the Canadian Rockies and Selkirks at the beginning of a decade that witnessed a recreational boom in North America.
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