By George E. Buckingham
With help from Charles
In 1989, Crater Lake
National Park was forced to close the historic Crater Lake
Lodge due to severe structural safety concerns.
During the next six years of planning and
reconstruction, Superintendent Dave Morris determined that a
Friends group would be advantageous to the park.
He also came up with a strategy to ‘kick off’ the
formation of such a group coincident with the dedication of
the newly reconstructed lodge.
formed an ad hoc group of interested citizens and an interim
Board was selected.
Chuck Wells, Mary Din, Paul Pearson, Laree Linder,
Bev Hartell, Carol Oxley and Wayne Howe.
Chuck Wells, assisted by Chief of Interpretation Kent
Taylor, drafted the applications for Articles of
incorporation for an Oregon non-profit organization and the
IRS application for designation as a 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt
Bylaws were also developed and approved by the
Chief Ranger George Buckingham was asked to serve as Liaison
between the Park and the Friends.
The first annual membership
meeting was held on September 25, 1993.
The membership chair (Laree Linder) reported that the
group consisted of 73 memberships for a total of 93 members.
At that meeting the first Board was elected:
Chuck Wells-President, Bev Hartell-Vice President,
Mary Erickson-Secretary/Treasurer, Frank
Erickson-Ass’t.Secretary/Treasurer, Laree Linder-Membership
Chair, Carol Oxley-Newsletter/Correspondence, Wayne Howe,
Jack Bennett, and Paul Pearson
During the first year, the
Friends engaged in a number of projects, notably the
completion of a trail connecting Rim Village with the
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thus enabling hikers to hike along
the rim of Crater Lake.
To do this, the Friends constructed a new section of
trail from North Junction to the PCT.
From this project, a tradition of an annual “Project
Most, but not all such weekends have been spent
Specific projects included trail work on the PCT, Annie
Springs Trail (twice), Dutton Creek Trail, a re-route at the
Crater Peak Trailhead (twice), constructed two different
bridges across Annie Creek, installed signs, Castle Crest
Wildflower Trail, Historic District trail, installed
bear-proof storage lockers at Lost Creek Campground,
rehabilitated trails at North Junction, painted the Annie
Springs Entrance Station and the South Entrance Sign posts,
assisted with dedication of a U-Haul mural, performed
traffic control for a large inter-agency SAR training
program, assisted with dedication of the Plaikni Falls
Trail, rehab of the Sun Notch trail system and trail work at
The second annual meeting
of the Friends occurred on October 22, 1994.
By that time, the lodge reconstruction was complete,
but the building had not opened to the public.
This was the first formal use of the new lodge.
That event was used as a major membership drive and
was very successful.
The sign up sheet lists 73 people attending, the
largest number of Friends ever to gather together in one
Memberships grew to 158 memberships, 203 members.
At that second annual meeting, another tradition
Interpreter Kent Taylor asked the Friends to take on a
Winter Information Desk operation.
This tradition continues.
In 2008 long time Crater Lake fan and former seasonal
Park Ranger Larry Smith took on the coordination of this
project which has been extremely successful.
He also developed and produced a number of displays
based on common questions asked by winter park visitors.
Funds ($1,500) to build these exhibits were donated
by the Friends.
By the third annual meeting
in 1994, memberships grew to 215 memberships, 275 members.
By that meeting, the Friends had agreed to ‘adopt’
the Crater Lake Ski Patrol as a project.
The Friends handled the Ski Patrol funds, much as a
bookkeeper would, but had no decision making role with the
Ski Patrol. In
2008, this arrangement was terminated.
The Ski Patrol provides a Friends Board member.
A concomitant effort was
the fire lookout program on both the Mount Scott and
These were staffed by volunteers and served three
Relief of limited Park Ranger Staff for other duties and off
days; 2) in-depth familiarization of participating Friends
with the whole Park and its surrounds and beyond; and 3)
lookouts in teams also provided considerable interpretation
to visitors. Participating members thought this was one of
the primary contributions to both the Park and the visitors.
However, this program was terminated by a new
Superintendent as was the idea of a fire interpretation
center in the Watchman Lookout, which Friends had advocated
efforts were also made to formulate a formal Memorandum of
Understanding (first initiated by Superintendent Morris)
with the park, but this effort also failed.
One of the early interests
of the Friends was the establishment of some kind of
The idea did not receive NPS support, but
interestingly enough, in 2005, resurrected itself into the
park sponsored Science and Learning Center.
The Friends did sponsor some Field Seminar Programs,
several of which were designed to accommodate public school
teachers for in-service degree credit through Southern
Oregon State (continuance of this program was also
discouraged by Park management).
Ironically, the present Science and Learning Center
was a direct output of the park Centennial Celebration which
itself was given life and form by the Friends.
The result is a much stronger and more solidly based
research/learning program than the Friends itself could have
Atkins, an attorney and proprietor of Non-Profit Support
Services in Eugene was engaged to assist with obtaining our
‘Final Letter of Determination’ from the IRS.
This procedure is required within five years after
receiving ‘Interim Status.
He also provided some excellent board training.
He continues to be our attorney although we have not
used him in some time.
By 1997 the Friends had
begun discussing and planning for a major celebration
recognizing the 100th anniversary of the
establishment of Crater Lake National Park.
A number of projects were proposed including a
symposium inviting a large number of participants from all
aspects of the region.
This symposium was very successful and generated a
large amount of interest in the surrounding communities.
The actual celebration itself eventually became a
The role of the Friends during the celebration was to
organize and run an Alumni Reunion.
Over 500 people attended this reunion.
A mailing to those attendees resulted in 25 new
The Friends adopted a logo
in the 1990’s.
This logo was based on a photograph of the lake.
While very attractive, it does not “print well”.
During the Centennial Celebration, the park
commissioned a Centennial logo and has since encouraged
Crater Lake National Park partners, such as the Friends, to
use a slight modification of that logo.
The Friends has adopted that logo and has gradually
replaced the original logo on its stationary, envelopes,
The Friends has been
mailing newsletters to its members since 1993.
During the 1990’s a concept of regional meetings was
concept seems to have lost steam during the past few years,
but may well be resurrected.
In 1998 the Friends
sponsored a Cycle Oregon rest stop at Kerr Notch, earning
some money ($500 donation) and having a great time.
A later (2004) Cycle Oregon trip to Crater Lake also
resulted in the Friends sponsoring a lunch stop at Rim
weather was awful, but Friends volunteers persevered through
wind, rain and cold to serve hundreds of hot lunches to
In 2007, the Friends once again sponsored a lunch
stop (At North Junction the weather was wonderful this
time!) and secured another nice donation from Cycle Oregon.
Again, in 2012, the Friends sponsored a lunch stop
(Mazama Village), worked hard and earned a Cycle Oregon
However, the donation was $1,500 rather than $2,500 each
from the previous two lunch stop events.
Adopt-a-Boundary are two projects that the Friends have
taken on. These
are good tasks for those who like to get out and about in
Participation in the adopt-a-trail program is low but
Adopt-a-boundary needs more attention, to say the least.
These two projects are on hold at present.
Past and present Resource
Management projects include the re-establishment of a rare
plant at Sphagnum Bog (collomia mazama) and
eradication of exotic plants at Highway 62 south entrance
and at Spruce Lake.
With the advent of new
management in 1998, a new relationship with the park began.
The formal MOU, now called a General Agreement, was
signed in 2003.
The park asked the Friends to adopt four programs and to
operate these, more or less, exclusively.
These are Winter Information Desk, Adopt-a-boundary,
Adopt-a-Trail, and Roving Rim Interpretation.
To facilitate the recruitment of volunteers the park
has provided quarters to Friends volunteers performing these
The General Agreement, for
the first time, establishes a basis for the Friends to
engage in soliciting and accepting donations and making
donations to the park.
A number of donations have been accepted from
individuals and corporations.
The Friends have made donations of interpretive
displays, safety signs, Ski Patrol outerwear,
Artists-in-Residence housing, Classroom-in-the Park
transportation, restoration of historic pictures, history
book, PBS Crater Lake film, a play script, etc..
Donations have a specific purpose attached to them.
We applied for a grant from the Cycle Oregon Fund to
provide Automatic Defibrillators (and training) for park
This did not materialize.
Funding for Friends
activities comes primarily from membership dues.
Hence, the role of the Membership Chairperson is
on, a computerized database of members was created.
This has enabled the organization to maintain contact
with its members on a fairly consistent basis.
As with all databases, it is only as good as the
information entered, so constant maintenance is necessary.
However, the effort pays big dividends.
We can find members, sort for names, addresses, make
mailing labels, etc.
At the first annual meeting
in 1993, the Treasurer’s Report shows a balance of $3,401.
At the second annual meeting, the balance had
increased to $5,650 including a $2,000 “startup” gift from
the Crater Lake Natural History Association.
The 1997 balance had increased to $9,604 and by 2002
During the Centennial year, the busiest for the Treasurer,
approximately $38,000 was received and spent/donated by the
2005 the balance was approximately $19,200.
At the end of 2009 the Friends has a net worth of
just over $41,000.
Major “routine” expenses, other than donations, are
the printing of newsletters, stationary, envelopes and
brochures. Other than the newsletter, these do not occur on
an annual basis.
Major donations to the Friends have included the NHA
($2,000), Pendleton (various amounts) and Cycle Oregon
($2,500 on two occasions and $1,500 in 2012).
As of October 2012, the Friends net worth is $47,307.
During the run up to the
Centennial Celebration it became apparent that a Friends
display was needed.
A very nice exhibit was purchased for approximately
$2,000. It is
stored in a case approximately 4 feet by 3 feet and thus is
However, it must sit on a large table and does not do
well under windy conditions.
At one time the Board authorized $2,000 for another
more durable traveling display, but this was never
Another display effort was once authorized by the Board.
This would have been a more or less permanent display
in the Steel Information Center.
Again, due to personnel changes, the project never
During the Centennial
celebration in 2002, the park had a showing of Crater Lake
art produced by the Artists in Residence program.
This was displayed in the rim Community House.
The Friends served as docents for that program.
In 2010, the Friends authorized a donation of $1,000
to support the Crater Lake Artists in Residence Program
which has been rejuvenated.
The Board has approved similar donation requests from
the park in 2011 and 2012.
We also staffed the
Community House during the initial rollout of the Crater
Lake license plate in 2003.
We provided general information on the park as well
as the license plate program.
In 2006 a true Friend of
the park, Greg Hartell, died.
In his honor, Park Superintendent Chuck Lundy asked
the Friends to take on the challenge of raising $10,000 per
year to support the Greg Hartell Internship for Historic
The concept is that this would enable other efforts to
establish and fund a self-sustaining endowment which could
then assume the burden of funding the intern.
Subsequently, the park itself has been able to fund
As of October 2012, the
Hartell Fund has accumulated over $16,000.
The endowment fund efforts with the University of
Oregon have not produced the desired result.
Superintendent Craig Ackerman, has revised the
park has offered to match donations from the Friends at a
4:1 ratio, up to $80,000.
These funds will be from the Crater Lake License
Friends have agreed to accept this challenge and are
embarking on a fund raising campaign to accumulate the
Combined with the park’s donation, this would create
a $100,000 endowment to be managed by the Oregon Community
ultimate goal is a $300,000 endowment fund.
The Friends will no longer seek to support an intern
on a year-to-year basis, but may donate to the endowment
The park completely
restored the old Superintendent’s house (House 19) and the
old Naturalist’s house (House 20) with completion and
dedication in 2006.
They now house the Science and Learning Center.
The Friends served as docents during that dedication.
We had a great time providing cake and handing out
agendas, mugs and giving information to the many dignitaries
One of the projects of the
Science and Learning Center is ‘Classrooms in the Park’
which brings elementary students to the park to complement a
In 2012, members Frank Quinn and Marjorie Feldman
donation ($1,000) to the Science and Learning Center in
honor of the first President of the Friends, Chuck and Sally
Wells, was used to provide transportation to some of these
For many years the Friends
have had the benefit of a website hosted by one of our
members on his personal site.
During 2007 the Crater Lake Ski Patrol offered to
provide space on their website.
We, including our long-term website master, liked
their site and the way they had set up Friends information
beside their own.
Their webmaster became a member of our board and in
2008 created a totally new site for us for which we are very
exist to connect the Friends, Crater Lake National Park, the
Ski Patrol, and the Trust websites.
He has also set up an email account for us to use to
get current information out to our members.
October 26, 2012