"FORT CLATSOP - A NEW NATIONAL PARK IS BORN" Fort Clatsop National Memorial by mtncorg

How a site becomes a national park is always an interesting exercise in local politics and actual national worth. Some places, as a result, are more worthy than others. Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio and Guadalupe Mountain National Park in Texas are the equivalent of Yosemite, Mt Rainier, Crater Lake, or the Grand Canyon? I don’t think so. Also, that the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park only occurs in the twelve separate areas around the mouth of the Columbia River, is to denigrate the sites - many of which are State or federally protected - along the rest of the magnificent journey route. I don’t see why the National Park Service simply doesn’t lump all of the rest of the sites within this new Park. Especially since most of the twelve sites making up this Park are protected as State Parks and are not federal. But I am not a politician. Plus, the NPS has the federal propensity to spend money at a much faster clip than State agencies - here the Netul Landing complex comes to mind. Whatever, Fort Clatsop is the highlight of the Park with the temporary winter quarters of the Corps of Discovery being reconstructed for a second time- a recent fire burnt down a 1950’s initial reconstruction. The original fort disintegrated quickly with time and climate. The new site, primeval looking as it is, is deceptive. The ‘old growth’ forests are actually only about a hundred years old, the fort being reconstructed on an old potato farm. The forest does set the mood, however, for the 100 or so days the Corps of Discovery called Fort Clatsop home, it rained all but 12 days and the sun shone on only five - a typical Astoria winter!

Of the twelve different sites that make up the Park, only three are federally owned - the rest are State Parks of Washington or Oregon. And even two of the federal sites - Dismal Nitch and Station Camp have a considerable Washington State influence. All of my ***ing aside, if you visit the different sites of the Park - maybe after reading a good history of the Lewis and Clark trek - Stephen Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West “ is said to have peaked early Park interest - you will go a long way in understanding the adventures the Corp of Discovery faced on their epic journey across America and also have some clue as to what their trip meant to the country in the long run;.

  • Last visit to Fort Clatsop National Memorial: Jul 2008
  • Intro Written Jul 29, 2008
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