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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Carlsbad in Eddy County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Stephen Tyng Mather

July 4, 1887 - Jan. 22, 1930

 
 
Stephen Tyng Mather Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, February 11, 2008
1. Stephen Tyng Mather Marker
Inscription. He laid the foundation of the National Park Service defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Stephen Tyng Mather marker series.
 
Location. 32° 10.605′ N, 104° 26.482′ W. Marker is near Carlsbad, New Mexico, in Eddy County. Touch for map. At the natural entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad NM 88220, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (approx. 4.1 miles away); a different marker also named Carlsbad Caverns National Park (approx. 4.8 miles away); Guadalupe Mountains (approx. 7 miles away); Guadalupe Escarpment Scenic Area (approx. 7 miles away).
 
More about this marker. One of many Mather plaques scattered throughout the National Parks.
 
Regarding Stephen Tyng Mather. Stephen Tyng Mather led a full active life of 63 years, from 1867 to 1930. The years spanning the turn of the
Stephen Tyng Mather Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, February 11, 2008
2. Stephen Tyng Mather Marker
century saw vast changes in the country's demographics, as well as the development of modern forms of transportation and communication, and increased leisure time. Mather was able to capitalize on these trends in his marketing efforts at the Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company, which made him a millionaire, and in his public life as the first director of the National Park Service. During his life, Mather was an active member of numerous organizations, including his college fraternity Sigma Chi, the Sun Alumni Association, the Chicago City Club and Municipal Voter's League, and the Sierra Club. He was always a strong supporter of the University of California at Berkeley. Mather was physically active, pursuing hiking and mountaineering, often squeezed into a frenzied travel schedule related to his business and the parks. His work, travel, and tremendous physical energy exacted a heavy toll and contributed to his untimely death.

Mather recognized magnificent scenery as the primary criterion for establishment of national parks. He was very careful to evaluate choices for parks, wishing the parks to stand as a collection of unique monuments. He felt those areas which were duplicates might best be managed by others. Within the framework of "scenery," his preservation ethic covered such issues as the locations of park developments, provision of vistas along roadways, and the perpetuation
The cave entrance image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, February 11, 2008
3. The cave entrance
of the natural scene. Mather always wished to have the parks supported by avid users, who would then communicate their support to their elected representatives. His grasp of a grassroots support system encouraged the rise of "nature study" and modern interpretation, as well as other park services, and was followed by increases in NPS appropriations. Mather was the first park professional to clearly articulate the policy which allowed the establishment of park concessioners to provide basic visitor comforts and services in the then undeveloped parks. His provision of creature comforts connected with park developments encouraged a curious and supportive public to visit the national parks.

His life is well summarized — on a series of bronze markers which were posthumously cast in his honor and distributed through many parks:

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved, unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good he has done . . ."

From National Park Service: The First 75 Years
 
Categories. EnvironmentNatural ResourcesNotable Persons
 
The cave entrance image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, February 11, 2008
4. The cave entrance
Carlsbad Caverns National Park entrance sign image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, February 11, 2008
5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park entrance sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 5, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,978 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 5, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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