"I shall be glad to give the matter every consideration.”.
At 7965 feet, Mount Olympus, with its eight glaciers, is the tallest of the Olympic Mountains, the range that is easily seen from the Seattle metro area. In 1909, just before leaving office, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating Mount Olympus National Monument within the national forest to protect the summer...
At 7965 feet, Mount Olympus, with its eight glaciers, is the tallest of the Olympic Mountains, the range that is easily seen from the Seattle metro area. In 1909, just before leaving office, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating Mount Olympus National Monument within the national forest to protect the summer range and breeding grounds of the Olympic elk. National monuments are not accorded the same protection as national parks, and three reductions left Mount Olympus National Monument half its original size.
All national monuments were transferred to the National Park Service as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s governmental reorganization in 1933. Still, controversy over the fate of Mount Olympus continued between timber, mining, and hunting advocates, who wanted to exploit the area’s resources, and environmentalists who wanted to protect it. In 1935, a bill was introduced in Congress to make Mount Olympus a national park and thus remove it from development. Many hoped to have FDR’s support, which would be crucial if the redesignation was to occur. The President, as indicated here, was sympathetic.
Typed Letter Signed on White House letterhead, Washington, no date but June 1935 or 1936, to Albert Z. Gray, who he addresses familiarly as “Albert.” “I have received your letter of May 31 in regard to a proposal to establish Mount Olympus, in the state of Washington, as a national park. Mount Olympus was established by Presidential proclamation of March 2, 1909, as a national monument and by Executive Order of June 10, 1933, was transferred from the administrative jurisdiction of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, to the administrative jurisdiction of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. There has been no official proposal by the Secretary of the Interior to establish this area as a national park. However, if such a recommendation is made, I shall be glad to give the matter every consideration.”
In 1937 Roosevelt visited the Olympic Peninsula to see the area for himself, and then declared, “This must be a national park!” His support was a turning point. On June 29, 1938, he signed a bill designating 898,000 acres as Olympic National Park. This is our first letter by any president concerning establishment of a national park.
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