Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Centennial 1916-2016
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Centennial celebration is to take place this coming August 2016. The American National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916. Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating a new federal bureau to promote and regulate Federal area such as park lands, monuments and reservations.
National Park Services (NPS)
Today the National Park Services regulates over 400 areas with more than 20,000 employees throughout the 50 states, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and Virgin Islands. The NPS continues to strive to meet its original goals: guardian of our diverse cultural and recreational resources; environmental advocate; partner in community revitalization; world leader in the parks and preservation community; and pioneer in the drive to protect America’s open spaces.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park was established in 1916. It includes two active volcanoes…Kilauea and Mauna Loa with 323,431 acres of land. Half of the Park is a Wilderness Area with unusual hiking and camping opportunities. The Park extends from the sea to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. The micro climates range from lush tropical rain forests to arid desert conditions.
Kilauea caldera remains active as does the remote vent named Pu’u O’o. It is quite an experience to take a helicopter ride circling this vent, its most recent activity dating back to 1983.
Kilauea and Halema’uma’u caldera were traditionally considered the home of the volcano goddess Pele. Canoes landed on the east side of Hawai’i island from all the Hawaiian Islands, bringing high born families to visit the calderas and pay homage to Pele.
The Volcano first became a tourist attraction in the 1840’s. Local businessmen ran a series (several burned to the ground) of hotels bordering the rim. Lorrin Thurston, grandson of the American missionary Asa Thurston, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the park after investing in the hotel from 1891 to 1904. William Castle first proposed the idea in 1903. Thurston, who then owned the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, printed editorials in favor of the park idea. In 1907, the Territory of Hawai’i paid for fifty members of Congress and their wives to visit Kilauea. It included a dinner cooked over lava steam vents.
In 1908 Thurston entertained Secretary of the Interior Garfield and in 1909 another congressional delegation to support the park. Governor Frear proposed a draft bill in 1911 to create “Kilauea National Park” for $50,000. Thurston and local landowner William Shipman proposed boundaries, but ran into some opposition from ranchers. Thurston printed endorsements from John Muir, Henry Cabot Lodge and former President Theodore Roosevelt. After several attempts, legislation introduced by delegate Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole finally passed to create the Park. House Resolution 9525 was signed by President Wilson on August 1, 1916. It was the 11th National Park in the United States, and the first in a Territory.
For more information check out the Volcanoes National Park link: http://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/management/centennial_initiative_2016.htm