Stephen Tyng Mather - Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 37° 11.059 W 108° 29.306
12S E 722948 N 4118273
Quick Description: This metal plaque is located on the eastern wall of the entrance to the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum in the Mesa Verde Administrative District. The District overlooks the Spruce Tree Cliff Dwellings 20 miles from the entrance to the Park.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 2/20/2021 12:54:18 PM
Waymark Code: WM13V59
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
My Commentary:
This metal plaque is located on the eastern wall of the entrance to the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. The plaque honors Stephen Tyng Mather - an American industrialist of the early to mid 20th century and the first director of the National Park Service. Mather is credited with making the National Park Service the respected institution it is today.

The picture of Mather is of the highest relief - this is to make sure that the person looking at the plaque knows that Mather is the main subject. The mountains, the trees, and especially the single pine branch with the pine cone reinforces the idea that Mather loved the outdoors and wanted to preserve it for futeure generations. The plaque appears to be made of just a base metal to preserve it in the harsh Colorado elements.

Text of Plaque:
Stephen Tyng Mather
July 4, 1867         Jan. 22, 1930

(relief profile picture of Mather with mountain and forest scene)

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

(relief picture of a pine branch and pine cone)

Information on Stephen Tyng Mather:
Stephen Tyng Mather (July 4, 1867 – January 22, 1930) was an American industrialist and conservationist who was the first director of the National Park Service. As president and owner of Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company he became a millionaire. With his friend the journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather led a publicity campaign to promote the creation of a unified federal agency to oversee National Parks administration, which was established in 1916. In 1917, Mather was appointed to lead the NPS, the new agency created within the Department of the Interior. He served until 1929, during which time Mather created a professional civil service organization, increased the numbers of parks and national monuments, and established systematic criteria for adding new properties to the federal system.

In 1916, the National Park Service was authorized by Congress and approved by President Wilson. Mather agreed to stay on, and with Albright, helped establish the new federal agency to protect and manage the national parks, together with a new appreciation for their wonders. In addition, he professionalized management of the parks, creating a cadre of career civil service people who were specialists in a variety of disciplines, to operate and manage the parks while preserving their natural character.

In 1917, Mather was appointed Assistant Secretary of Interior and head of the National Park Service. Due to his success in working with leaders of various groups and the Congress, he served until 1929. He believed that magnificent scenery should be the first criterion in establishing a national park, and made efforts to have new parks established before the lands were developed for other purposes.

He introduced concessions to the national parks. Among the services they sold were basic amenities and necessities to park visitors, plus aids for studying nature. Mather promoted the creation of the National Park to Park Highway. He also encouraged cooperation with the railroads to increase visitation to normally remote units of the National Park System. He believed that once more of the public had visited the parks and enjoyed a comfortable stay in concessionaire facilities then they would become supporters for the fledgling agency and its holdings. By the time he left his position, the park system included 20 national parks and 32 national monuments. Mather also had created the criteria for identifying and adopting new parks and monuments.

Periodically disabled by bipolar disorder (manic-depression), Mather had to take some leaves from work and Albright continued in their mutual understanding of the task. Over time they convinced Congress of the wisdom of extending the national park concept into the East, and in 1926 Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks were authorized. In January 1929 Mather suffered a stroke and had to leave office. He died a year later.

- Wikipedia Page on Stephen Tyng Mather

Your impression of the sculpture?:

Where is this sculpture?:
Spruce Tree House Road
Mesa Verde National Park, CO USA

Date Sculpture was opened for vewing?: Not listed

Website for sculpture?: Not listed

Sculptors Name: Not listed

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