Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

The 'CREED' of the National Park Service

​                Horace Albright was in the process of a cover-up when in 1918 he decided to , ironically, write a 'creed' for the National Park Service.  If you scan the definition of the word, 'CREED,' you will see that each of the applications does assume you believe what is presented by the creed (ideology, credo, doctrine, teaching, tenets, canons) is true. 
      We now know that Albright was lying about the entire framework on which the National Parks System was predicated.  Mather was a crook who had made his money stealing his boss, Francis Marion Smith, blind.  Mather's goal was building elite hotels for his friends, corporate types many of whom owed their money to extractive industries.  Mather was emotionally or psychologically abnormal and could not endure being threatened by the consequences of his actions.  
       Albright loved Mather, anyway, and covered for him from 1914 until his own death in 1987.  
        The Creed served to built a barrier so Americans would not see what was really happening.  

a system of Christian or other religious belief; a faith.
"people of many creeds and cultures"
synonyms: faith, religion, religious belief, religious persuasion, church, denomination, sect
"people of many creeds and cultures"
a formal statement of Christian beliefs, especially the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed.
noun: Creed; noun: the Creed
synonyms: system of belief, set of beliefs, beliefs, principles, articles of faith, ideology, credo, doctrine, teaching, dogma, tenets, canons
"his political creed"
a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions.
"liberalism was more than a political creed"

Written by Horace Marden Albright in 1917

    In a speech I gave to a meeting of the General Federation of Women's Club around this time, I said: "There are four general functions fulfilled by the national parks: the development of physical health and the desire for outdoor life on the part of the citizens; the development of a broader mental horizon and the education of the people in the ways and habits of wild animals, birds, and natural history; the development of a national patriotism; the diversion of the tourist travel from foreign countries and the retaining of the money spent by American tourists abroad in this country."

Others may differ over the highlights of my directive, but I felt the following were very important:

1. "The national parks must be maintained in absolutely unimpaired form, and every activity of the service is subordinate to the duties imposed upon it faithfully to preserve the parks for posterity in essentially their natural state."

      This is impossible.  The natural world changes even without the impact of humanity. The best way to keep these lands in their 'natural state' would have been not to start National Parks.  

2. The parks should be set aside for use, observation, health, and pleasure of the people.

        See above.  Of course people enjoy recreation and they have learned to love the National Parks.  But their ability to do so hinged on becoming wealthy enough to afford vacations.  Vacations were limited to the upper middle-class and elite when Mather began his campaign to provide National Parks to Americans.  

3. The national interest must dictate all decisions affecting public or private enterprise in the parks.

      What is the 'National Interest'?   Who defines this?  Who is serves, who pays, and who really benefits?  The lower cost hospitality destinations, such as Curry Village and earlier Camp Curry, would subsidize such destinations as the Ahwahnee.  This was true for decades.  

4. It is necessary to restrict leasing of lands. In national parks summer homes and other private holdings should be eliminated. No trees should be cut except for vistas, infestations, or hazards. Harmonize trails, roads, buildings, and other improvements with the landscape.

       This assertions violates the right to property for individuals entirely.  It is outrageous and has resulted in the systemic theft of land, some of these holding homes which were built before the American Revolution.  

5. All concessioners should be regulated as to rates, have no competition, and yield revenue to the federal government. All types of accommodations should be provided either by the concessioner or by the Park Service, from free campsites with water and sanitation to luxury hotels.

          This 'tenet' forces those engaged in private enterprise to subsidize the elite and government.  

6. Sports should be encouraged (except for hunting), but not to interfere with the enjoyment by other visitors or in any way to harm the natural environment. Educational use of parks, museums, and other attractions should be promoted.

          Sports for Stephen Mather included golf rather prominently.  In Yosemite Mather early on planned for elite sports, including a golf course which destroyed the natural habitat of wildflowers.   
7. The National Park System should not be lowered in standards, dignity, and prestige by the inclusion of areas that express in less than the highest terms the particular class or kind of exhibit they represent. Existing parks should be improved by the addition of adjacent areas that would complete their scenic or other purposes.

         The elite expect everything around them to be beautiful.