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720 CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES S 1st Session

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

JANUARY 12, 1932.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Yon, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 5063]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5063) to provide for the establishment of the Everglades National Park in the State of Florida, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:

Line 7, page 1, strike out the words “ as a national park”. This amendment was suggested by the Secretary of the Interior in his letter of December 31, 1931, addressed to the chairman of the Public Lands Committee of the House of Representatives. This letter sets forth the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, December 31, 1931. Hon. John M. EVANS, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. My Dear MR. CHAIRMAN: In response to your request of December 22, for a report on H. R. 5063, entitled “A bill to provide for the establishment of the Everglades National Park in the State of Florida, and for other purposes,” I transmit herewith a memorandum on the subject that has been submitted by the Director of the National Park Service.

The Everglades National Park project is of outstanding merit and is one of the areas which in my opinion should be authorized for national park status at an early date. I am advised by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget that so far as the financial program of the President is concerned, there is no objection to this proposed legislation.

I heartily concur in the memorandum report of the Director of the National Park Service and urge that H. R. 5063 receive favorable consideration by Congress. Very truly yours,

Ray Lyman WILBUR, Secretary. HR-72-1-VOL 1 -9

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,

Washington, December 28, 1931. Memorandum for the Secretary.

Reference is made to letter dated December 22, 1931, from the chairman Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives, inclosing copy of H. R. 5063, entitled, “A bill to provide for the establishment of the Everglades National Park in the State of Florida, and for other purposes," with request for report thereon.

The purpose of this bill is to provide for the establishment as a national park without cost to the United States of an area in the Everglades region of Florida which Congress directed be investigated and reported on by the Secretary of the Interior by the act of March 1, 1929 (45 Stat. 1443). Pursuant to that act an inspection and detailed examination of the area was made in February, 1930, on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior by officials of the National Park Service, assisted by several eminent park experts acting as collaborators, and the area found to measure up to the standards set for national parks. Full details of this inspection and the recommendations made pursuant thereto were covered in your report to Congress submitted on December 3, 1930, as directed by the act of March 1, 1929, a copy of which is attached hereto.

The form of legislation proposed by H. R. 5063 has been carefully examined and is found to be substantially similar to legislation heretofore enacted with respect to other eastern areas proposed as national parks and authorized by Congress for such establishment. To clarify an ambiguity of context in the first section, however, the words “as a national park” in line 7 of page 1 should be stricken out.

I have to recommend that H. R. 5063 with amendment as indicated above be given favorable consideration by the department and Congress.

HORACE M. ALBRIGHT, Director. During the Seventy-first Congress, third session, this committee reported favorably to the House a similar bill dealing with the creation of the Everglades National Park. This report, No. 2300, to accompany H. R. 12381, contains a full explanation of the purpose and reasons for enacting this measure into law. That part of the report containing this information is herein set out in full and made a part of this report for the information of the House as follows:

Under the act of Congress approved March 1, 1929, the Secretary of the Interior was directed and authorized to make an investigation as to the desirability and practicability of establishing a national park in the tropical Everglades located in Dade, Monroe, and Collier Counties of the State of Florida. This investigation was made during the past year by a group of men, well qualified by training and experience, whose judgment and decision should be very reliable. These men in their report highly recommend this area as being both desirable and practical for national-park purposes. The report of the Secretary of the Interior recently submitted to Congress on the findings of this investigation commission is herein set out in full for the information of the House.

TROPIC EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

TRANSMITTING

REPORT TO CONGRESS AS TO THE DESIRABILITY AND PRACTICA. BILITY OF ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL PARK, TO BE KNOWN AS THE TROPIC EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, IN THE EVERGLADES OF DADE, MONROE, AND COLLIER COUNTIES OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA

DECEMBER 3, 1930.-Referred to the Committee on Public Lands and ordered

to be printed, with illustrations

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, December 3, 1930. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Sir: The act of Congress approved March 1, 1929, prescribes as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, directed to investigate and report to Congress as to the desirability and practicability of establishing a national park, to be known as the Tropic Everglades National Park, in the everglades of Dade, Monroe, and Collier Counties of the State of Florida, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States and to preserve said area in its natural state, including in his report full information as to the ownership, value, estimated cost to acquire and character of the lands involved and his opinion as to whether such areas measure up to national park standards. Any appropriations for the National Park Service shall be available for the necessary expenses of such investigation.

3

In accordance therewith I submit the following report:

INSPECTION

The inspection of the area was made during the period from February 11 to February 17, 1930, inclusive, by the following official representatives of the department:

Mr. Horace M. Albright, director, National Park Service.
Mr. Ebert K. Burlew, Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior.

Dr. H. C. Bumpus, member of the educational committee of the National Park Service, official collaborator.

Mr. Arno B. Cammerer, associate director, National Park Service.

Mr. Harlan P. Kelsey, conservationist and landscape architect, member of the Appalachian National Park Commission, official collaborator.

Dr. T. Gilbert Pearson, president of the National Association of Audubon Societies, official collaborator.

Mr. Roger W. Toll, superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, National Park Service.

The inspection was made by automobile, motor boat, house boat, skiffs, balloon blimp, and on foot.

LOCATION

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The area as prescribed in the act is located in Dade, Monroe, and Collier Counties, Florida, and is conceded to be the most truly tropical portion of the mainland of the United States. It includes Cape Sable, the southern extremity of the Florida Peninsula and the most southern point of the mainland of the United States, and extends from that cape some 45 miles northerly along the Gulf of Mexico and some 50 miles easterly along the Bay of Florida.

The lattitude of Cape Sable is 25° 07', while the latitude of the most southerly point of Texas is about 25° 50', so that Cape Sable is approximately 50 miles farther south than any other portion of the mainland of the United States. Some of the keys to the east, which would probably not be included in the park, lie as far south as latitude 24° 54', or some 15 miles south of Cape Sable. Some of the other Florida keys lie still farther south beyond the proposed park area. Key West, for example, is 38 miles south and 45 miles west of Cape Sable. Strange as it may seem, Cape Sable is 350 miles farther south than Cairo, Egypt. Cape Sable has three points known as East Cape, Middle Cape, and Northwest Cape. These capes have several miles of shell beaches bordered with coconut palms.

Northwardly the park area as planned extends about 10 or 15 miles north of the Tamiami Trail. Altogether there is a total of about 2,000 square miles involved, or nearly 1,300,000 acres. Possibly the best way to show the tentative boundaries for this proposed Tropic Everglades National Park is by a map, which is therefore attached as Exhibit A.

As tentatively considered, and as indicated on the page map, the area is bounded on the north by line running approximately east and west; this northern boundary line to intersect at about right angles with the eastern boundary line, the eastern boundary line to extend about 15 miles north from the Tamiami Trail and about 12 miles south from the Tamiami Trail, continuous with and forming part of the western boundary line of the southern drainage district area in Dade County. At right angles with the southern terminus of the above-described east boundary line and at about right angles to it the boundary line is to extend about east again about 6 miles, running about east and west, this last-indicated line to intersect at about right angles with another portion of the east boundary at its east and extending about 14 miles south to an intersection about 2 miles south of the township in which Florida City is located, here intersecting a line running about east at right angles to preceding north and south line and extending to the Atlantic Ocean.

The southern boundary of the proposed area to include the mainland shore line and all the islands and keys in the Bay of Florida, not including the keys on which the Florida East Coast Railroad and Key West Highway now have trackage or roadbed, other than Key Largo and near-by vicinity, as indicated on map, but including the islands in the Gulf of Mexico lying off the Florida coast line within the area indicated on the map, and not including Chocoloskee Island. From the indicated boundary on map and south of Chocoloskee Island, a straight line to be drawn to the north boundary line north of the Tamiami Trail, making an intersection with it 36 miles west from the northeast corner of area. The great desirability of including enough of the key region that is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Florida, Barnes and Card Sounds, so as to include some miles along the Atlantic coast shore line, including outlying waters, is apparent when one considers that the Gulf Stream flows northeastwardly close in shore at this point. In the near-by waters of the Atlantic are wonderful marine gardens and excellent fishing. On the keys included in this area are animal and plant life and physical formations confined to this general region and not found elsewhere in the park area. For that reason a portion of this key region has been included.

Naturally, the final boundary lines are difficult to show at this time, and even tentative boundary lines are difficult to determine without more intensive study on the ground. Private holdings and local conditions must be fully considered. The lines suggested, however, will give a very definite starting point for the park, since they involve the maximum which might be secured and which upon study can be reduced to a desired essential minimum. It is probable that such adjustments can be made which will enable at least 80 per cent of the total area involved in the boundary lines to be considered a satisfactory minimum for the park.

There was some doubt as to whether or not any area north of the Tamiami Trail should be included. To do so would put a main traffic artery within the park area, and the trail seemed to be a logical northern boundary. However, both in order to prevent undesirable commercial development along the trail, and because there are some very scenic areas north of it which should be included, and also because of the possibilities of developing the wonderful bird life of the region for the enjoyment of those who motor along the Tamiami Trail, it has been considered desirable to extend the boundaries north as shown on the map.

The Royal Palm State Park should be included in the proposed park, and has been offered for that purpose. It will provide a very desirable feature.

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