Thursday, Sep 8, 2005
Register Rock, a landmark along the California Historic Trail, and the 290 acres surrounding it has been acquired by the National Park Service (NPS) as part of City of Rocks National Reserve, it was announced this week by Superintendent Wallace Keck. It has been one of the top priorities for acquisition.
The Reserves comprehensive management plan calls for the Register Rock area and California Trail corridor to be restored to the historic landscape and interpreted to the public, said Keck. Over the next few years, Idaho State and NPS park staff will work to remove fences, restore vegetation, and provide interpretation to visitors through personal tours, a wayside exhibit and publications.
A partnership arrangement with the Oregon-California Trail Association, The Conservation Fund, and the Idaho Department of Parks made possible the purchase of the 290 acres and an adjacent 80 acres from William Loughmiller. The two properties were offered for sale only as a package. The 80 acres is located outside the reserve and is integral to protecting the scenic views of City of Rocks and the nearby Castle Rocks State Park.
Register Rock contains numerous emigrant signatures scrawled across the sheltered face of the granite monolith. From 1843 to 1869, approximately 250,000 emigrants camped at and passed by Register Rock. Many left their mark for friends and family following. Others, so struck by the grandeur of the place, left their mark for posterity. City of Rocks National Reserve was created by Congress in 1988 to preserve and protect the significant historical and cultural resources; manage recreational use; protect and maintain scenic quality; and to interpret the Reserves nationally significant values. It is co-managed with the Idaho State Park System. For more information about this or nearby Castle Rocks State Park, contact Keck at PO Box 169, Almo, ID 83312, or call 208-824-5519.