The Regional Review

Volume I - No. 3

September, 1938


(Excerpts from the weekly Washington bulletins issued by Regional Director Carl P. Russell)


Negotiations already are under way in connection with the donation of approximately 12,000 acres of land intended for inclusion in the proposed Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, situated in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, according to information revealed during a recent conference of officials of the Service and citizens of the three states concerned.

H. H. Fuson, of Harlan, announced interested persons are seeking the donation of lands, which lie along the Cumberland Ridge north of the Gap. Robert L. Kincaid, executive vice president of Lincoln Memorial University, also made it known that the institution which he represented probably would be in a position to convey 2,000 acres situated nearby. Congressman Carroll Reese of Tennessee, Congress man Robinson of Kentucky, and State Senator Robinette, representing the Governor of Virginia, and representatives of the Virginia Conservation Commission all gave assurance of their intention to advance the move to acquire for National Park purposes the lands under discussion.

Tom Wallace, Louisville newspaper editor, presided at the meeting. Conrad L. Wirth, Supervisor of Recreation and Land Planning, outlined the policies and objectives of the Service and introduced the Cumberland National Recreational Area proposal. K. C. McCarter, Landscape Architect, and C. W. Porter, Assistant Historian, described conclusions reached on the basis of studies conducted during investigations made a year ago at the Kentucky-Tennessee-Virginia area. An organization committee, composed of three members from each of the States, later was established. The group endorsed the Historical Park and Recreational Area proposals and planned for meetings in Lexington, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn., and Bristol, Tenn.-Va.

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A conference has been held in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of discussing the proposal made by North Carolina officials to locate the southern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway so as to enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the vicinity of Ravensford on North Carolina Highway No. 107. Represented at the meeting were the North Carolina Highway Commission, the Indian Service, Blue Ridge Parkway officers, the Branch of Plans and Design, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Director and Secretary.

The Secretary approved the route for this 45-mile unit of the parkway, thereby settling the location which has been in question for the past three years. The original route proposed for the parkway from Tennessee Bald to Soco Gap is to be followed, then the route crosses the Indian Reservation on a ridge avoiding valley lands which the former route traversed. North Carolina has agreed to abandon State Route 107 from the Parkway boundary to Newfound Gap to enable the Service to acquire the road.

North Carolina is to reimburse the Indians a minimum amount of $40,000 for the land necessary for parkway purposes within their reservation. Details of the transfer of title and the exact parkway location remain to be worked out between the Office of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service and the State of North Carolina. The state will provide a valley highway connecting Soco Gap with Cherokee, the Indian village, following the route formerly proposed for parkway.

Secretary Ickes has ruled that the only access to the parkway will be at the public roads access points. All proposals for private roads connecting with the parkway will disapproved. Letters to this effect have been sent to Governor Clyde R. Hoey, of North Carolina, and Governor James H. Price of Virginia.

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The Branch of Plans and Design has completed a preliminary study of the Oglethorpe Trail proposal, including a reconnaissance of the trail. The old River Road between Savannah and Augusta approximately 128 miles in length, was named The Oglethorpe Trail in the Act approved by Congress on June 16, 1938. The road traverses farm lands, swamps, Savannah River bluffs and low hills.

The parkway value of the proposal lies in the possibility of its inclusion as a link in a parkway between the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Atlantic. Further field study of possible alternate routes will be necessary before the parkway value can be determined satisfactorily.

Recommendations have been made by the Acting Chief of Planning Surveys concerning such a study. He advocates that tentative alignment be indicated on available U.S.G.S. maps, and that no flagging of lines be undertaken at this stage by the Bureau of Public Roads. Further, he recommends that the additional study be postponed until late fall when "the foliage will be less thick and the insect life less abundant".

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A fine prospectus for a history and culture museum, replete with illustrations, has been prepared by Messrs. Stupka, Wilburn and Grossman, of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Their proposal embodies a suggestion for presentation of mountain culture by means of a group of occupied houses where mountaineers would carry on their normal handicraft activities. Park Naturalist Stupka is engaged now in gathering data for preparation of a leaflet on nature trails in the National Parks. It will be issued by the Branch of Research and Information.

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A possibility that the Statue of Liberty may be re-opened to the public as early as November 15, rather than a month later, has grown out of adjustments made by Administrator Brehon Somervell, of the City of New York Works Progress Administration, which will permit immediate requisition of materials, required for prosecuting the work on stairs, landings and other features, of the structure. Any work to be done after November 15 will be completed with night shifts, leaving the Statue well policed and ready for visitors during the day. The Service has authorized use of materials obtainable through demolition of buildings on Bedloe Island in constructing the new sea wall.

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A significant move within the Wildlife Division is seen in the plan to cooperate with other Federal bureaus, in shaping agreements that will enable the Service's Division to participate in studying wildlife problems on areas other than those under jurisdiction of the National Park Service. If such inter-bureau agreements can be effected, a distinct forward step will have been taken in integrating all programs of wild life conservation and a national wildlife policy finally may become a reality.

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Preliminary work in connection with preparation of the 1938 Yearbook, Park and Recreation Progress has been begin and it is, expected the publication will be issued soon after January 1. Although it was necessary for the Service to provide all the material for the first issue of the book, it is intended that the 1938 edition contain the views of representative park leaders throughout the country. Prominent men in the state park movement have been asked to contribute articles on various pertinent subjects. In addition, the Service will provide certain basic material and articles, on studies being conducted under its supervision.

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Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, oldest and largest unit of its type in the National Park System, joined the City of Chattanooga this month in an elaborate ten-day program commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the major battles fought there during the War Between the States.

A large crowd assembled in the Chickamauga section of the park on Governors' Day, September 19, to participate in exercises to which representatives of 29 states had been invited to attend and to witness a reenactment of a part of the battle of Chickamauga, third bloodiest of the encounters of the war if casualties are compared to the total troops engaged. President Roosevelt, scheduled to speak on the following day, was compelled to cancel his engagement at the last moment because of his desire to remain in Washington to maintain close contact with political developments in Europe.

As in the case of the anniversary observances held in July at Gettysburg National Military Park, a special appropriation by Congress provided funds for a part of the expenses incident to the Chickamauga-Chattanooga program.


The name of the Branch of Research and Education has just been changed officially to "Branch of Research and Information". The name of the Branch of Recreational Planning and State Cooperation already had been altered to "Branch of Recreation, Land Planning and State Cooperation."


A clear definition of Service policies governing organized camp and day use of Recreational Demonstration Areas, of which there are 22 in Region One, is contained in a letter written by Acting Assistant Director Fred T. Johnston in answer to an inquiry made by Emerson W. Graver, of the Outing Bureau of the Keystone Automobile Club of Pennsylvania.

"The National Park Service" the letter said, "is developing 46 such areas in 24 states as demonstrations in the recreational use of land which is unsuited to agricultural or industrial purposes. They are neither State nor national parks, but a new type of area designed primarily to provide, through organized camping, for the recreational needs of the lower income groups in large centers of population. However, sections of certain areas are reserved as wildlife sanctuaries and, where not conflicting with camping, provision is made for day use.

"It is planned eventually to turn practically all of these areas over to the States for administration, in order that they may augment the park and recreational systems of the States. While they are still under development, administration and control is retained by the National Park Service .....

"It is hoped that the public will come to understand that recreational demonstration areas are designed primarily for organized camping and that any day use permitted is secondary to use of the areas by organized groups. Day use facilities on these areas may supplement regular state recreational facilities, but are in no sense state park facilities, in themselves. Unless or until day use facilities are provided on an area, the area cannot be opened to the public for such use. Organized camps leased by organizations for a season's use must necessarily be closed to the public except to the extent the using organization may permit its campers to receive visitors."

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The Manual of the Branch of Forestry, approved September 6, has been issued in mimeographed form (76 pages). "The purpose of this Branch," it is pointed out,"is the maintenance of the forest ecological balance, with due coordination with wildlife needs and management." Thirty pages of the manual are devoted to fire protection. Insect control, tree disease, type mapping, forest research and general forestry policy are among the other subjects covered.

The place of the forester in the regional administrative scheme is defined and the Regional offices are designated as focal points upon which will center "all questions and correspondence pertaining to forestry and fire protection activities".

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The new CCC safety regulations, prepared in the office of Director Fechner last spring to supersede all previous instructions, have been issued in a convenient booklet form. The preface reads:

"The Civilian Conservation Corps Safety Regulations have been revised and expanded to provide, in one small compact volume, safety instructions and information to cover practically all chaises of Civilian Conservation Corps work which can be readily used by all administration personnel.

"The rules and regulations contained herein have been formulated from experience. A large part of the material presented has been secured from the field, submitted by responsible field representatives whose functional duties are the reduction and elimination of accidents, regardless of cause or condition. A portion of the material has been costly, having been prepared from cases which resulted in the loss of life or limb.

"Safety to Civilian Conservation Corps personnel must be the first consideration under any and all conditions. It is the primary responsibility of all those acting in a supervisory capacity. This responsibility cannot be avoided or overlooked.

"It should be added here that all the rules and regulations which can be created, all the safety devices that can be attached to machines, all the guards that can be erected, and all the warning signs that can be posted are useless unless responsible individuals drop the veil of seeming unconcern and become interested in the task of eliminating and reducing accidents.

"The text is designed to further inspire and help carry forward the humanitarian and economic movement of accident prevention, through mandatory regulations and useful information."

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A now board of directors, which will serve until September 1, 1939, was elected this month by members of the Richmond National Park Service Association, a group organized last April. The directors assembled later and chose officers for the year. They are:

C. G. Jaquette, Assistant Attorney, President; Herbert Evison, Associate Regional Director, First Vice President; W.S. Bahlman, Acting Assistant Regional Director, Second Vice President; Mrs. Ruby Brooke, Jr. Clerk-Stenographer, Secretary, and C. C. Stutts, Chief Clerk, Treasurer.

Other members of the board of directors are A. P. Bursley, Regional Supervisor; W.E. O'Neil, Associate Engineer, Miss Mary Kane, Assistant Fiscal Accounting Clerk, and Miss Thelma Kreusse, Junior Clerk Stenographer. The Association now has more than 170 members.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002