OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Wednesday
Feb 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home National & State Parks Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Marks 100th Anniversary as National Monument

Park Uses Occasion to Highlight Goals for Next 100 Years to Ensure Adequate Serevices, Visitor Enjoyment

Grand Canyon Marks 100th Anniversary as National Monument

Hits smaller text tool iconmedium text tool iconlarger text tool icon

Grand Canyon National Park on Jan. 11, 2008 celebrated with birthday cake and special programs the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Grand Canyon National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt.

"This is an exciting time in the history of Grand Canyon National Park," said park Superintendent Steve Martin.
 

597_cake-for-web

www.nps.gov/grca/ or call (928) 638-7878.
The Grand Canyon received its first federal protection when President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Roosevelt declared portions of the reserve Grand Canyon Game Reserve in 1906, and later proclaimed Grand Canyon National Monument on Jan. 11, 1908, to protect the Canyon from uncontrolled development.

Under the authority of the Antiquities Act, Roosevelt established the national monument as an object of scientific interest in that Grand Canyon was the largest eroded canyon in the nation and declared Grand Canyon "the one great site every American should see."

The new monument was managed by the U.S. Forest Service until it was proclaimed a National Park in 1919 and transferred to management by the National Park Service.

In celebration of this anniversary, the park waived the park's entrance fee on Jan. 11. Park staff also offered two special interpretive programs to help mark the occasion.

Dressed in a 1930s vintage park ranger uniform, Ranger Chuck Wahler presented a walk through the historic Grand Canyon Village. Then Ranger Ron Brown portrayed John Hance, an early Grand Canyon pioneer and teller of tall tales.

In addition, park staff provided a birthday cake at the Visitor Center at Canyon View Information Plaza. Park visitors, community members, and employees were invited to share some cake to help the park celebrate its anniversary.

Plans for the Next 100 Years

Martin used the anniversary occasion to highlight long range goals for Grand Canyon National Park for the next 100 years.

"We want to make the park experience relevant to people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures and maintain and provide for a workforce to lead Grand Canyon National Park into the 21st century by ensuring the park is managed in a credible and professional fashion," stated Superintendent Martin. "The selection and implementation of these goals will ensure that the park's landscapes and ecosystems are rich in diversity and protected from degradation."

Martin said that the focus is to provide for essential services for the visitor experience and visitor protection, to maintain park facilities that will enhance the visitor experience and protect park resources, to improve the condition of cultural resources and Native American relationships, and to maintain and improve the condition of the natural resources in the system.

Some of the specific projects and programs that will meet these goals and take Grand Canyon into the next century include:

- Development of the South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan to meet the park's most pressing transportation needs through the year 2020
- Continued implementation of a greenway trail system to provide a greater opportunity for visitors to experience the resources of the park
- Expansion of educational programs by bringing 21st century technologies and state-of-the-art science and education to Grand Canyon
- Develop a strong friends group network
- Improve visitor experience by resolving the overflights issue;
- Implement of the recently approved Colorado River Management Plan that will better manage recreational use of the Colorado River
- Continue preservation of fire dependent ecosystems through the application of best available science
- Ensure that the operation of Glen Canyon Dam meets the intent of the Grand Canyon Protection Act
- Complete a business analysis of the park to ensure financial sustainability

One of the park's goals is the rehabilitation of the historic Hermit Road as well as provide safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists to overlooks and viewpoints along the West Rim. That project gets underway starting in February, and will severely impact visitor access to that area of the park. [Editor's Note: For more details on the road work, see our story in our News / Updates Section.]

We will need the support of all our partners, communities, park neighbors, the public and other agencies to meet the challenges ahead, said Martin. "We will look forward to working with everyone to ensure this unique world resource is protected and an inspiration to all."

Grand Canyon National Park encompasses over 1.2 million acres of diverse terrain that ranges from 2,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation and includes nine vegetative zones. There are more than 1,730 plant species and nearly 500 fish and wildlife species in the park. Grand Canyon is the second most visited national park in the service with nearly 4.5 million visitors annually. Its best known for its scenic beauty and geologic formations.

For more information on Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park's Web site at


 
National & State Parks
Banner
Banner
Banner