Olympic National Park was made a federal forest reserve by President Grover Cleveland in 1897. It became a national park in 1938 after a visit by President Franklin Roosevelt.
Both quickly grasped what a national treasure this would be.
The trails that cross the park were improved a little and mapped in the early decades of the 20th century. Every 5 miles or so early hikers threw together rough shelters, lean-tos of found limbs and evergreen boughs sufficient to keep off some of the near constant deluges that fell about eight months a year. These had to be constantly rebuilt.
During the Depression, Civilian Conservation Corps crews built a few more-substantial shelters. One remains. A small cabin was built in the 1920s, and some three-sided shelters were built about mid-century. They’re all decaying.
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The Park Service would like to repair and preserve these shelters.
Enter the zealots.
Wilderness Watch doesn’t want the cabins repaired. They’re suing the National Park Service to let the five structures sink into the undergrowth because, they say they, detract from the wilderness.
The lawsuit is unthinking, reactionary overreach that gives environmentalism a bad name.