ABSTRACT

VIRGIN ISLANDS PARK In the Wirth regime a number of park and monument areas were established, but only two national parks-the Virgin Islands National Park, and the Petrified Forest National Park, raised from monument status.2 As early as 1939

Representative De Rouen had tried to get a recreation and conservation area in the Virgin Islands, but had failed.3 Senator Jackson of Washington and Representative Engle of California introduced bills in 1955 to establish the national park, and Engle's bill passed both houses with little discussion and was signed by President Eisenhower in August 1956.4 It is one of the smallest national parks in the park system-5,000 acres-but additions are being made. It is largely a wildlife and botanical park. The wildlife has been grossly abused on the Islands; there has long been a traffic in birds and their eggs, and some species are almost extinct. Plant life is rich and varied although neglected by the inhabitants, who have also devastated the habitat of wildlife and the land itself. It is not an area of outstanding magnificence, but is a lovely green island, with fine beaches and other attractions; and it is unique among national parks-there is nothing else in the system quite like it. It is a gift, and the administration expenses are very modest. The land for the park was given to the government by Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc., under Laurance S. Rockefeller, son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who has also built some excellent accommodations and is building more.s

There were modest additions to a few park areas. In 1953 President Truman added 47,753 acres to Olympic, including the Ocean Strip, the Queets Corridor, and nine sections elsewhere.6 A little was added to Rocky Mountain to provide land for a new approach from the east, to replace the Big Thompson Road.7 In the winter of 1951-52, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., gave $95,000 for the purchase and addition to Blue Ridge Parkway of beautiful Linville Falls and Linville Gorge. Kentucky has been trying for some years to acquire Great Onyx and Crystal caves for addition to Mammoth Cave, but so far without success.