DEVELOPMENT OF FORT CLATSOP NATIONAL MEMORIAL
In 1958, when Fort Clatsop National Memorial was created, the National Park Service was two years into a program called Mission 66. After World War II and into the 1950s, the National Park System experienced greatly increased visitation. Most parks were unprepared for these increases and park budgets did not provide for improvements and additional accommodations. Parks also suffered deterioration of existing facilities from overuse and age.
In 1951, Conrad Wirth replaced Newton Drury as Director of the National Park Service. Director Wirth began his term by strengthening ties with Congress and advancing the development needs of the National Park Service. This culminated in the Mission 66 program. Mission 66 aimed not only to rebuild park infrastructures to accommodate increased visitation and continued preservation, but it was also aimed at organizing and strengthening the Service. During the war years and the leadership of Director Drury, the Service experienced decreased budgets and increased pressures for the exploitation of park natural resources to aid the war economy. Postwar conflicts like one with the Bureau of Reclamation at Dinosaur National Monument threatened the legitimacy of Park Service policy in the face of other federal agency agendas. Mission 66 was intended to meet the demands of the public and to legitimize the agency's control and authority over the nation's parks.
To meet these goals, park and administrative facilities and roads were built or improved. The concept of the visitor center was developed, creating one building to accommodate visitor and administrative needs. One hundred fourteen visitor centers were built and 2,000 miles of roads built or improved throughout the National Park Service during from 1956 to 1966.  It was during this period of park development that Fort Clatsop National Memorial was created.
Last Updated: 20-Jan-2004