Executive Summary

This Historic Structure Report was prepared as part of the implementation of the Olympic National Park General Management Plan (approved August 8, 2008 See Appendix 1) and in accordance with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

The backcountry structures of Olympic National Park are a legacy that spans from early exploration to the last major NPS shelter program. They are diverse in origin and broad in style. They cover homesteads, wildfire protection, early recreation, as well as Forest Service management and National Park Service administration. Their history provides the texture to the context of park development. They reflect attitudes towards the landscape and environment of one of the most unique areas on the planet. Some of the structures have value only in history while others fill a meaningful purpose within park policy.

The park cultural management program should include two primary conservation principals. The first is to maintain and preserve at least one of each style of historic structures. The second is to maintain and preserve the structures within the context of their association as elements of a system of shelters, trails, and ranger stations like found along the Hoh River trail. It is equally important to recognize that this context of association applies to grouping of buildings such as found at the ranger stations. The stations were a collection of several buildings and an open area for stock, and this functional relationship needs to be maintained and preserved in the same manner as individual structures. In certain instances, lost historic buildings could be restored where new functions are required for park administration purposes.

Given the challenges of the climate and terrain these structures will always need a degree of maintenance to preserve their historic character. But their history is important and when reflected against the breadth of the wilderness of the park, they are modest in nature, yet provide a perspective and understanding of the park that would be lost if they were to disappear.

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