I remember reading somewhere that some highpointers, perhaps John Mitchler was among them, were writting a guidebook to the NP highpoints. I was wondering if anyone can report on the progress of that project and when the book may be ready for publication.
Parkpointers Rejoice: National Park guidebook in 2006
November 3 2005, 2:53 PM
Dave Covill, Gerry Roach, and myself are finishing the chapters for a long-anticipated guidebook which describes the highest points of all 58 national parks. I'm unsure at this time if we'll also include the 6 ex-national parks or the 3 pending national parks.
In addition to gathering key information, we are also field checking/testing our chapters, so if anyone would like to participate in this, please email or phone me. Also, we will gladly accept good photos of park highpoints.
In recoginition of an early thread on this Forum, I must say that guidebook writing is entirely a labor of love, as the Wingers have testified. And when you split your ninety cent commission 3-ways, it gets down right bankrupt. But fun. If I worked a second job I could write two guidebooks!
So far this year I've visited Voyagers in MN (snowmobile to HP), Mammoth Cave in KY, Yosemite in CA, and Kenai Fjords in AK. My trip to Scotland bit deep into my parkpointing time. I still have 2005 intentions for Petrified Forest in AZ and Biscayne in FL. Dave & Gerry are doing their own circuit through the parks, so that we have them all covered before publication.
John- let me know when you plan to hike the Petrified Forest HP. I am interested too, maybe we can hook up. I plan to hike Mica Mtn in Saguaro NP soon so I could field check that one for you if need be. Scott - bacsas at yahoo dot com.
I climbed (hiked) Mt. Mica a few years ago as part of my casual NP highpointing. It is avery easy hike from Manning Camp (permit required), in fact the highpoint is just off the Arizona Trail. There was a firetower, no longer there, but the concrete supports remain. The summit itself is forested, but there are some good views from nearby open areas.
mr john m., you casually mentioned that there are 6 ex-national parks. i have been racking my brains trying to think of what they are. in fact, i have often wondered if our exquisite park service has dropped any NP's from its list of beautiful lands. does anyone know what the six are?
The National Park of American Samoa is unusual in many respects. First, it doesn't include any federally-owned lands. Parklands are leased from native villages and from the American Samoa Government. Since Samoan law prohibits the sale of communal land, the National Park Service had to negotiate with traditional high chiefs, who represented the village land owners, which parts of the islands to include in the park. (A 50-year lease was signed in 1993.) As Governor AP Lutali noted in 1995, "We are not only preserving the forest, the animals, the shoreline and reefs, but we can have an interactive park that assists in the preservation of Samoan life and culture." Today the NPS leases 9,000-acres from the eight villages that comprise the park and works closely with village councils to develop and implement park regulations and programs."
I spent 7 yrs. 7 mo. working at a NOAA (US Dept. of Commerce) climatic observatory in Amerika Samoa. It was located on Laugae Ridge and Cape Matatula on the E. end of Tutuila, the main island. The same deal: the Feds couldn't purchase the land, they had to lease it from Chief Iuli Togi of Tula Village down the road; I think it was communal land, much of it a coconut plantation. He died during my tenure; I suppose the property is now leased from his heirs.
The size of Platt National Park was only 842 acres (about 1.3 sq. mi.), so its small size was a likely reason why its National Park designation was repealed and its land incorporated into a larger National Recreation Area.
This website gives another example, Sullys Hill National Park in North Dakota, established in 1904 by President Theodore Roosevelt. This land is now managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
My wife and I found a neat little handbook 60 pages long published in 1927 by the US DOI. It lists the then 19 National Parks. Here are some highlights:
Hot Springs NP in Arkansas predates Yellowstone, created in 1832 (Yellowstone in 1872). I always thought Yellowstopne was the first NP created; maybe Hot Springs was designated something else then absorbed into the system later on? Were they even thinking of National Parks in 1832?
(Related to other points in this thread, seems Hot Springs, at 1.5 sq miles, should go the way of Sullys and Platt, sort of an anachronism these days and nothing more)
Hawaii National Park is listed as one NP, including the volcanoes of Mauna Loa, Kea and Haleakala.
Its listings of National Monuments includes Casa Grande - no mention of it as a NP earlier than 1927. Many listed later became NP. Many still exist as NMs, and some seemed to have simply disppeared, absorbed into some other unit, such as Fossil Cycad NM in South Dakota, Olk Kassan in AK, Verendrye in ND...
I haven't been to this park (did visit Bryce; due to bad weather, didn't hike down through the "voodoos", did hike through the bristlecones at the end <the th'storm & snow broke) but enjoyed the view of the La Sal Mts. in one picture. I've climbed 3, S. Mt., Tukunikivats & Mt. Peale, from a camp at Medicine Lake. Couldn't tell which was which from the picture. Didn't get to Mellenthin which was too far.