On-line Book

Book Cover
A Brief History Of The National Park Service




National Park Idea

Early Growth

NPS Created






Plans and Design





Historic Conservation

Land Planning

State Cooperation


Work Camps

Recreation Study




Antiquities Act

Organic Act

Historic Sites Act

Recreational-Area Programs Act



State Cooperation

When Federal cooperation was extended to the states in 1933 for park and recreation area development through CCC and relief labor and funds, the Branch was given charge of these activities. As Supervisor of Recreation and Land Planning, Mr. Wirth is the administrative officer of the Service immediately in charge of CCC and emergency relief-financed work in national parks and monuments, state, county and metropolitan parks and recreation areas. As a member of the Advisory Council of the CCC, he represents the entire Department of the Interior in its relations with the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Branch of Recreation, Land Planning and State Cooperation also has charge of the Park, Parkway and Recreational-Area Study.


picnic shelter
State Park Acreage has Doubled Under the Federal Aid Program for Planning and Development.

The most extensive participation by the Service in conservation for recreation outside the Federal field has been in progress since April 1933 when various bureaus of the Department were assigned to give technical supervision to work projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The National Park Service was designated to supervise the work of the Corps not only on areas of the national park system, but on state, county and metropolitan parks and recreation areas in cooperation with the state and local governments administering these areas. A little later the Service participated in park development projects on non-Federal areas, with labor paid from relief funds, and undertook the development of 46 Federal recreational demonstration area projects in 24 states, on which both CCC and relief labor is used.

When the CCC program was started in April 1933, Fire Control Expert John D. Coffman was called to Washington from the Pacific Coast to take charge of National Park Service participation. Later that year, when it became apparent that the state park CCC work supervised by the Service would develop into a large program, a separate division was established within the Branch of Planning under Mr. Wirth. Mr. Coffman, however, continued to supervise both CCC and Civil Works Administration projects on areas of the national park system. The State Park ECW organization was similar to the national park organization, complete with facilities and personnel for the planning and supervision of all phases of work operations, including engineering, historical, wildlife, etc.

Because of the spread of these projects throughout the United States, it was necessary to establish a regional plan of operation of the State Park ECW organization. At first there were four regions set up, and soon after a fifth was added. Later, eight regions were established, but finally, the number was reduced again to four. This organization handled both CCC and ERA work programs in state, county and metropolitan parks and recreational demonstration areas.

On January 15, 1936, a major change in the organizational set-up for handling CCC and ERA operations was made when these activities in both national park system and state and local park areas were combined under the Branch of Recreation, Land Planning and State Cooperation on the regional basis. Then, on August 15, 1937 the entire National Park Service was regionalized on the basis of the existing four regions. This combined regular national park work, national park CCC and ERA, state cooperative CCC and ERA, and recreational demonstration area CCC and ERA work under a single organizational system.

In handling CCC work on non-Federal areas, the Service maintains relationship with the states, counties or municipalities through individuals known as "park authorities" who represent the local park administering bodies. Usually the park authority is the head or executive officer of a park commission. He makes the application for assignment of a CCC camp to a park, initiates the work projects, and places them before the National Park Service for its approval. Work done with CCC or relief funds on national parks and monuments is in the charge of the park superintendent or monument custodian.

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Last Modified: Mon, Jun 16 2003 10:00:00 pm PDT

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