North America, United States, Wyoming, Devils Tower

Publication Year: 1937.

Devils Tower. A small party of climbers, some of them members of this club, were prevented from making an attempt on this summit by the National Park Service which administers this odd monolith as a national monument. While we can fully sympathize with the Park Service in its endeavor to keep the monuments and parks free from adverse publicity, we do not understand their attitude in preventing bona-fide climbing which is simply an exploitation of the recreational facilities of the parks. To preserve our national wonders for future generations is a laudable ambition, but unless these natural wonders have some value, esthetic or recreational they are of no value to this or future generations. An intelligent man is instinctively a doer and has little patience with contemplative inaction. Are intelligent people to be driven away from the national parks and monuments? Are our national parks to be devoted to morons and Cook’s Tourists? This is a point which transcends any personalities, and be it here noted that the attempt in question was frustrated not by the superintendent in charge, but by a ruling from Washington, and even the efforts of the superintendent were unavailing to have this ruling changed. The point at issue is : are our national parks to be administered for the benefit of all the people, or only for those of a sufficiently low intelligence to be led like sheep? Must intelligent people shun the national parks as they would the plague or are they to be we comed on the same terms as others?