In recent years, the National Park Service and its holdings have been the subject of a growing number of important studies. Still first among these is Alfred Runte, National Parks: The American Experience, 2d. ed., (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), an excellent study that covers the evolution of the park system since its inception. Ronald A. Foresta, America's National Parks and Their Keepers (Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1984) is a close look at NPS policy in the modern era. Although dated and marred by inconsistent footnotes, John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961), remains a seminal work. Packed with narrative detail, it offers the most comprehensive chronology of the evolution of policy and decision-making in the agency. The only extant biography of Stephen T. Mather, Robert Shankland, Steve Mather of the National Parks 3d. ed., (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), also has stood well the test of time. Hal Rothman, Preserving Different Pasts: The American National Monuments (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), tells the story of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the national monuments it spawned.
Growing numbers of park areas have been the subject of individual histories; among the best of the genre are Alfred Runte, Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), and Duane A. Smith, Mesa Verde National Park: Shadows of the Centuries (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988). Other notable studies are Lary M. Dilsaver and William C. Tweed, The Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991), and Susan R. Schrepfer, The Fight to Save the Redwoods: A History of Environmental Reform, 1917-1978 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983).
More specialized studies of current topics have also begun to appear. John C. Freemuth, National Parks and the Politics of External Threats (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991) is the first of what will be a significant genre. Nonetheless, the National Park Service and the park system remain among the least thoroughly studied of federal agencies.
American Indian or Native American history has undergone a revolution in the past two decades. Numerous scholars have contributed to this, not the least of whom is Richard White. Two of his books, The Roots of Dependency: Subsistence, Environment, and Social Change Among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983) and The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) reveal much about the nature of Indian-white relations across the continent. White's seminal article, "The Winning of the West: The Expansion of the Western Sioux in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," The Journal of American History, 65 no. 2 (September 1978), redefined the way in which westward expansion and growth on the northern plains was understood. Anthony McGinnis, Counting Coup and Cutting Horses: Intertribal Warfare on the Northern Plains, 1738-1889 (Evergreen, CO: Cordillera Press, 1990), is the best look at intertribal warfare and territorial expansion among the Indians of the northern plains. Other valuable works include Frederick E. Hoxie, The Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880-1920 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984), Brian W. Dippie, The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1982), and James S. Olson and Raymond Wilson, Native Americans in the Twentieth Century (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984). Robert M. Utley, The Last Days of the Sioux Nation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963), has stood the test of time. Utley's work remains the most readable history of the end of the story of which Pipestone is an early chapter. A standard reference for Indian treaties is Charles J. Kappler, Indian Treaties: 1778-1883 (New York: Interland Publishing, 1972).
Perhaps the area about which least has been published is natural resources management. The lead book in the field is Stephen J. Pyne, Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982). Pyne's work established the groundwork; unfortunately few have followed his lead. R. Gerald Wright, Wildlife Research and Management in the National Parks (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), is another pioneering work. In contrast to some of the more strident assessments of national park wildlife policy, Wright has set a scholarly and considered tone and standard for others to follow.
Two unpublished works about Pipestone National Monument were invaluable in this study. Robert Murray, "Administrative History of Pipestone National Monument," (unpublished typescript, 1961), offers a clearly documented history of the process that led to the creation of the monument. William P. Corbett, "A History of the Red Pipestone Quarry and Pipestone National Monument," (M. A. thesis, University of South Dakota, 1976) offers a broad-base of the history of the monument. Corbett is particularly adept at Indian history. In addition, two of his articles, "The Red Pipestone Quarry: The Yanktons Defend a Sacred Tradition, 1858-1929," South Dakota History 8, 99-116, and "Pipestone: Development of a National The Origin and Development Monument," Minnesota History, Fall 1980, 83-92, refine his earlier work.
As always, primary sources are the guts of any good administrative history. Record Group 79, the Records of the National Park Service, in the National Archives in Washington, D. C., provided essential documentation, as did records in the Federal Records Center in Kansas City. Pipestone National Monument also contains a fine collection of documents pertaining to the history of the park. Of equal importance was the willingness of present and former park staff to discuss the many issues of Pipestone National Monument. Superintendent Vince Halvorson, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management Betty McSwain, and Maintenance Supervisor Raymond L. "Chuck" Derby all added perspective and insight. Former Superintendents Carl Stoddard, Cecil D. Lewis, Jr., Clarence Gorman, and Don Thompson also answered questions. As is always the case in the National Park Service, the people of each individual unit make that place what it is. The willingness of these and many other people to share their insights has made this a better history.
Last Updated: 21-Aug-2004