Herbert Hoover and the National Park Service

During Herbert Hoover’s administration (1929-1933), the size of national forests expanded by more than two million acres, and the land designated for national parks and monuments increased by forty percent. Hoover also lobbied tirelessly for expanding the park system in the east, laying the groundwork for parks in the Shenandoah Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Everglades. Berton W. Crandall photographs, item 22
Herbert Hoover (right) and Horace Albright (left) were friends and fishing companions long before Albright became director of the National Park Service in 1929. As an assistant to National Park Service director Stephen Mather during World War I, Albright solicited Hoover, then head of the US Food Administration, to oppose statesmen who believed that elk in Yellowstone should be killed, processed, and packed, and sent as rations to doughboys overseas. Hoover supported Albright, issuing a firm statement that war demands did not yet determine that national parks should be exploited for pasturage and meat packing. Later, as superintendent of Yellowstone Park between 1919-1929, Albright hosted Hoover on various fishing expeditions and advised Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, on fishing hatcheries in the parks. Herbert Hoover subject collection envelope P
From boyhood to adulthood, Herbert Hoover prized fishing as his favorite leisure activity. His friends, however, were amused that he often wore professional garb on his angling outings; his friend and National Park Service director Horace Albright commented in an interview that during his presidency Hoover “fished in a blue-serge suit, double-breasted and with a high collar.” Ever industrious and dedicated to work, he also took along a pad and pencil to record ideas, take notes, and make lists of tasks to be done. Herbert Hoover subject collection, Envelope P
Early in his administration Hoover built a rustic retreat in Rapidan Camp, deep in the horse country of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Hoover would invite politicians and foreign dignitaries to the camp for informal meetings, often conducted while on horseback rides or fishing expeditions. Aside from politicians, notable guests to Rapidan included the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, and Will Rogers. At the end of his administration Hoover donated the Rapidan Camp as part of Shenandoah National Park. Herbert Hoover subject collection, Envelope P
During his tenure as Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928, Hoover debated with colleagues in the Department of the Interior over whether or not airports and scenic airplane rides should be allowed in national parks. By the late 1920s airports were bein
During his tenure as Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928, Hoover debated with colleagues in the Department of the Interior over whether or not airports and scenic airplane rides should be allowed in national parks. By the late 1920s airports were being built just outside the boundaries of the parks. To date Jackson Hole Airport in the Grand Tetons remains the only airport existing within the boundaries of a national park. Poster Collection US 7927