chapter  2
14 Pages

The New Bureau

WithWilliam C. Everhart

The new Park Service was an organization in name only. Just a few days after Congress declared war on Germany in April 1917, it authorized an appropriation to organize the new bureau. Army troops were withdrawn from the parks during the war; they had been in charge of Yellowstone since 1886. Military operation had come at an opportune time for the parks. The Fort Yellowstone complex of several dozen buildings continues to serve as administrative headquarters for the park. Beginning with a special appropriation in the summer of 1918, the Service was able to hire a qualified force of rangers for the parks. The political climate of the time demanded that the parks be used, or there would be no appropriations from Congress. Automobiles had also come early to the parks, admitted to Mt. Rainier in 1908.