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Meet The Real Life Batman & Robin Of The National Parks (unmasking included)

They were the dynamic duo. This is the story of the real life “Batman & Robin” and their battle to create a unified system of national parks.

Stephen Mather & Horace Albright are the two names every national park enthusiast should know.

HOLY CAMPSITE! This is the incredible story of two crusaders without capes. Their Gotham City was a series of wilderness wonderlands in need of assistance. Instead of doing battle with the Joker, Riddler, Penguin or Catwoman, these capeless crusaders fought to create, promote, preserve and protect an amazing collection of national parks. Have you guessed it?

ARRGH! They fought against those who would use the parks to enrich themselves.

KAPOW! They fought for a National Park Service so visitors would have an exceptional experience no matter where they went.

POWIE! They fought for a elite cadre of public lands professionals.

WHAP! As a result of this dynamic duo, the National Park System we know today exists.

Do you know who we’re talking about?

This article is part of our ongoing Environmental Heroes Series. So far we’ve chronicled legends like Jimmy Carter, Rachel Carson, George Bird Grinnell, Stephen Mather, & we’re only just getting started!

The dynamic duo - stephen mather & horace albright
The Dynamic Duo! You May Know Them As Batman & Robin, But Keep Reading And You’ll Learn Their True Identities. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Stephen Mather & Horace Albright | The Real Life Batman & Robin of the National Parks

The Millionaire Turned Do-Gooder, Stephen Mather

Stephen Tyng Mather: BAM! Take a look at his background. See similarities to Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent? As The Mather Homestead reports:

“Mather was a successful industrialist who started his career as a reporter with the New York Sun. After five years, he joined the Pacific Coast Borax Company in New York where his father worked.  In 1894, he and his wife, Jane Floy Mather, moved to Chicago with Borax.  He is credited with coining the slogan “20 Mule Team Borax” which branded the commodity and made Borax a household name.  In 1903, he created the Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company. By 1914, Mather was a millionaire. This gave him the flexibility to pursue other interests.”

Holy dynamic duo! Stephen Mather & horace albright
Holy Dynamic Duo! Or Is It Faster Than A Speeding Bullet? Stephen Mather’s Background Bore Certain Similarities To Bruce Wayne & Clark Kent. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

John Muir’s Influence on Stephen Mather

BANG! Instead of fighting for truth, justice and the American way, Mather fought to preserve the wilderness around him. As a young man, he had fallen in love with the mountains of his native California.

He became active in his state’s Sierra Club. In 1912, he met the legendary conservationist John Muir. Muir’s battle to protect America’s wilderness had a big impact on Stephen Mather. He decided this was a fight he wanted to join too.

John Muir’s Crusade To Preserve America’s Natural Wonders Would Inspire Stephen Mather To Join The Fight. (Library Of Congress)

Catching The Eye of Interior

BOFF! Mather’s growing passion for conservation and his willingness to fight the good fight took him to Washington D.C. where he came to the attention of the Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane.

Lane wanted someone to create a system of national parks. He believed Mather was just the man for the job.

franklin lane & stephen mather
Secretary Of The Interior Franklin Lane (courtesy of wikimedia)

BONK! Lane arranged a meeting with Mather. Impressed with his convictions and his passion, he would ask Mather to run the Bureau of Parks. Mather, however, doubted his fitness for government work.

He raised objections. To reassure him, Lane introduced Mather to the man who would become his partner in this great endeavor And, the dynamic duo would soon be born.

Holy Side Kick! Just Where Would The Dynamic Duo Have Been Without The Boy Wonder? (Courtesy Of Wikimedia) | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

Batman, Meet Robin – Mather, Meet Albright

CLASH! In Creating The National Park Service, Horace Albright writes:

“Mather had his lingering doubts. ‘This is all so very new to me. I have never been under restrictions or a lot of regulations. I’m just not temperamentally fitted for this type of work in Washington.’ I’ll probably get into trouble before the job is an hour old.’

Lane replied: ‘I’ll give you a young fellow who knows the ropes and who’ll handle the legal and other troubles you’ll run into. He’s the man to keep you out of trouble, someone who knows the department, can handle the routine administrative work and–wonder of wonder–a fellow university graduate.'”

For Stephen Mather, Working For The Federal Government Was Like Trying To Solve A Riddle.
Fortunately, Horace Albright Would Help Him Solve It.
(Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

I never referred to Stephen Mather as Steve or even Stephen. He was always “Mr. Mather.” That summed up the love and respect I had for the man. He altered my life forever and made me a better man for it.

There was an old saying: “These fellas remind me of each other–they’re so different.” That fit Mr. Mather and me. And yet the longer we were together, the more we melded into one team, an indivisible unit.

The relationship we formed in 1914 not only deeply enriched my life, but I believe proved of great significance for our beloved country.

-Horace Albright

Horace Albright | A Hardscrabble Youth

CRASH! Like Dick Grayson, Horace Albright would come to see his mentor and partner as a father figure. Unlike Dick, he did not grow up as a circus performer.

Albright came of age in the Owens Valley of California. His parents struggled financially to make ends meet. They instilled in their young son a strong work ethic, which he put to work for the people of America.

From An Early Age, Horace Albright Knew He Would Have To Pay How Own Way In Life. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

CRRAACK! From an early age, Horace Albright knew he would have to pay his own way in life. He worked a series of jobs to earn money for a college education.

Unable to secure a coveted position at West Point, he attended the University of California instead. As disappointed as he was, Albright found a different way to serve his country.

horace albright
Horace Albright Teamed Up With Stephen Mather And Became The “Boy Wonder” Of The National Park Service. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Horace Albright Heads to Washington

EEE-YOW! Upon graduation, Albright was approached by Adolph Miller. Miller had been a good friend from his college days. He offered Alrbight an opportunity to go to Washington.

The job was in the new administration of President Woodrow Wilson as an assistant to Franklin Lane. Miller asked his friend to come along as his assistant. Albright agreed. That decision would change his life.

I came to the conclusion that Stephen Mather and I would make quite a combination. He was an experienced public relations man, created instant rapport with strangers, had a personality that radiated poise, friendliness, and charm, could talk easily with anyone he met, confidently instilling perfect strangers with his enthusiasm.

It was hard for me to dig up reasons for my being a help to Mather except that I was knowledgeable about Washington, the Interior Department, and the Congress, was quite good at detail and administrative work, which he obviously hated, could help with legal problems, and above all, was loyal and conscientious.

-Horace Albright, Creating The National Park Service

Bringing Order Out Of Chaos | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

KAPOW! Gotham City was a place in dire need of a savior when Bruce Wayne teamed up with Dick Grayson. Together, the dynamic duo resolved to bring order out of the chaos. A different kind of chaos confronted Mather and Albright when they began their historic partnership.

Gotham City & Our Nation’s Parks Both Needed A Savior. Fortunately, One Stepped Into The Ring. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia) Stephen Mather and Horace Albright

KER-SPLOOSH! As Albright writes in Creating The National Park Service:

“One of the first things the new partnership of Mather and Albright faced was park administration. A lot of Mather’s criticism to Lane had been about the miserable conditions in the national parks, he had visited, not just the rundown physical aspects, but the dirty, unhealthy conditions of lodging, food, and sanitary facilities. He blamed most of these on the men in charge of the parks.”

The Deplorable Condition Of The National Parks Was No Joking Matter When Mather & Albright Took The Helm. (Courtesy of Wikimedia) Stephen Mather and Horace Albright

Too Many Political Appointees

KERPLOP! Mather and Albright discovered a second, but related problem. It was the personnel running these parks. Most of them were political appointees. They viewed their jobs as a reward for backing the right candidate.

Rather than consider what would be in the best interests of the people, they were motivated by self-interest. These folks were always on the lookout for any opportunity which benefited them personally.

Under the leadership of the dynamic duo, political appointees were in trouble
Under The Leadership Of The Dynamic Duo, Political Appointees Discovered They Had A Target On Their Backs. (Courtesy of Wikimedia) Stephen Mather and Horace Albright

Lack Of Public Awareness

KRUNCH! A third problem was the lack of public interest or awareness of these wonderful places. In order to build support for a National Park Service and a unified management system, Mather had to educate the public as to why these places mattered.

If the public understood the benefits of traveling to America’s parks then Stephen Mather was convinced he could get a bill through Congress creating a National Park Service. He was confident he could get adequate funding to eradicate the deplorable conditions he had seen.

And, he could train a dedicated group of public servants who would effectively supervise these parks.

There was no standard uniform yet for national park people, so every man was dressed differently: odd pants, boots, shirts, and hats–a pretty scraggly lot.

-Horace Albright

The dynamic duo professionalized the park service
A National Park Ranger Gives A Tour. It Was The Dynamic Duo Who Professionalized The Park Service. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

A Generosity Of Spirit | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

OOOOFF! There’s a wonderful story. After parking the Batmobile, Batman jumps out of the car and reaches into his utility belt for a coin so he can pay the parking meter. Robin points out that no one is going to give the Batmobile a ticket.

Realizing this was a teachable moment, Batman turns to the Boy Wonder and says, “This Money Goes Towards Building Better Roads, We All Must Do Our Part.”

It Doesn’t Take A Caped Crusader To Know That We Must All Do Our Part. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Bruce Wayne & Stephen Mather | Made Of Similar Stuff

OUCH! Stephen Mather was made of similar stuff. He, too, believed that we must all do our part. He didn’t take a salary. Wealthy people, who have gone into government service, often don’t take salaries. But Mather had a generosity of spirit which went much further.

Without any public fanfare, time and time again, he dug into his own pockets to hire people, help people, purchase access to public lands for the American people and find other ways to give back.

Mather wanted to make his dream of a National Park Service a reality. He was willing to spend money out of his own pocket to achieve this goal. Not for himself, but the general public. And, he never publicized any of these actions.

When It Came To His Incredible Generosity, Mather Never Publicized His Generosity. He Never Took Off The Mask. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

A Cash-Strapped Boy Wonder

OWWW! Horace Albright couldn’t afford to remain with Stephen Mather on an assistant’s salary. He wanted to get married and have a family. This is not an unreasonable thing for any man to want.

Mather solved his problem by supplementing Albright’s salary. Rather than a “hand out,” Mather gave Albright a “hand up.” The Department of the Interior didn’t lose a valued employee and Mather didn’t lose his “right-hand” man.

A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks.

-Stephen T. Mather

“Well, If That’s The Only Problem, I’ll Buy It Myself”

PLOP! Albright tells one story which is particularly poignant:

“Right away, Mather became agitated and unusually upset when he inspected the park headquarters, which was at the end of a terrible road. He stamped his feet and said that this situation would never do.

Poor Samuel Ralston, the supervisor of Glacier, tried to explain that all the land between the railroad and the lake, about three miles plus the shoreline, with a good road through it, was privately owned. Mather instantly quieted down and said, ‘Well, if that’s the only problem, I’ll buy it myself.'”

He did. And, he gave it to the government for the enjoyment of all its people.

The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.

-Stephen T. Mather

Mather Builds A Public Relations Department | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

POW! Mather would hire a full-time publicist, Robert Sterling Yard, to help publicize the need for an independent national park agency.  Since the Department of the Interior had no money to pay Yard’s salary, Mather would pay it out of his own pocket.

Yard worked to promote the national parks and to educate Americans about their use. He would call these places “America’s masterpieces,” and work to create high standards for the selection of future national park sites.

Part of Mather’s particular genius lay in his newspaper and public relations background. What good would it do to have all of these wonderful places if people didn’t know about them.

By enlisting support among influential businessmen and journalists, Mather publicized these national treasures. And, by publicizing them, he built political support for a system of national parks.

Mather and Albright effectively blurred the distinction between utilitarian conservation and preservation by emphasizing the economic value of parks as tourist meccas. A vigorous public relations campaign led to supportive articles in National Geographic, The Saturday Evening Post, and other popular magazines.

Mather hired his own publicist and obtained funds from 17 western railroads to produce The National Parks Portfolio, a lavishly illustrated publication sent to congressmen and other influential citizens.

-The National Park Service, A Brief History, by Barry Mackintosh, 1999

stephen mather
Mather Would Promote The National Parks To The General Public Through Influential Publications Such As The Saturday Evening Post. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

The Mather Mountain Party | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

POWIE! Stephen Mather understood that, if he was going to get Congress to create a unified park system, he needed to build support for it among influential people.

To dramatize the terrible conditions of these parks while also showcasing their incredible beauty, Mather invited businessmen, congressmen, editors and publishers to accompany him on a mountain party. It became known as the Mather Mountain Party.

stephen mather and horace albright
The Dynamic Duo & Friends. The Mather Mountain Party Courtesy Of Wikimedia.

Mather Enlists The Support Of The National Geographic

RIP! The Mather Mountain Party was a two-week trek which proved instrumental in building necessary support for the creation of a National Park Service. Among its participants was Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor.

He was the full time editor of the National Geographic. Grosvenor, considered the father of photojournalism, built the National Geographic into one of the most influential magazines of its day.

National Geographic Was One Of The Most Influential Magazines Of Its Day. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Becoming A True Believer | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

SOCK! Mather knew he had to win Grosvenor over to his side. According to National Park Service historian Walter Bielenberg, Mather’s Mountain Park made a true believer out of Grosvenor.

“He was so overwhelmed by the grandeur of the High Sierras and his experiences on the trip that he became a long-time friend of Mather and the national parks.”

National Geographic Editor Gilbert Grosvenor At Work In His Office In Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Battling The Selfish Interests | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

SPLATT! As their two week journey came to an end, Stephen Mather said a few words of farewell to the group. Horace Albright writes:

“Mather would tell the group, ‘Unless we can protect the areas currently held with a separate government agency we may lose them to selfish interests. And, we need this bureau to enhance and enlarge our public lands, to preserve infinitely more for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.'”

To each of you, to all of you, remember that God has given us these beautiful lands. Try to save them for, and share them with, future generations. Go out and spread the gospel!

-Stephen Mather addressing the Mather Mountain Party, excerpted from Creating The National Parks

stephen mather
Unless we can protect the areas currently held with a separate government agency we may lose them to selfish interests.”
Stephen Mather Rallies His Troops. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Present At The Creation | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

SPLOOSH! As Horace Alrbight notes, “Getting the national park bill through Congress was a thankless job.” It was 1916 and voters were preparing to go to the polls. While Woodrow Wilson was campaigning for reelection, Europe was entering its third year of a bloody conflagration.

Wilson was politically vulnerable and Republicans were sensing victory. For Stephen Mather and Horace Albright, a change of administrations at this pivotal juncture could doom their dream of a National Park Service. They knew it was now or never.

The dynamic duo knew a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush.
The Dynamic Duo Knew That A Bird In The Hand Was Worth Two In The Bush. It Was Now Or Never For A National Park System.
(Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Turning Up The Political Pressure | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

SWAAP! Stephen Mather’s friends and supporters turned up the political pressure with a flood of publicity in support of a national park service. Gilbert Grosvenor devoted National Geographic’s April issue to the wonders of America with special emphasis and attention on the national parks.

While Mather remained in the West, Albright worked with wavering senators and congressmen to address their concerns and ensure their support.

The fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr.

SWISH! On August 15, the Senate accepted a compromise bill on the parks. Seven days later, the House also passed the bill. Now, all Mather and Albright needed, was the President’s signature. As Albright recounts:

“I found the enrolling clerk and inquired when the bill would be sent to the president for his signature. He didn’t know. Just then the telephone rang. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but my antenna must have been up because I heard him repeat: ‘Yes sir. The president wants the army appropriation bill right away for his signature. I’ll get it ready and send it down immediately.'”

Making the dynamic duo's dreams come true
President Woodrow Wilson Made The Dynamic Duo’s Dreams Come True By Signing The Bill Creating The National Park Service.
(Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Birth Of The National Park System | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

SWOOSH! Sensing an opportunity, Albright persuaded the clerk to put the national park bill in the same envelope. His plan worked. President Wilson signed both bills. On August 25, 1916, the National Park System was born.

stephen mather and horace albright
The Dynamic Duo Unmasked: At 1915 dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park. (l to r): Stephen T. Mather, Robert Sterling Yard, Acting Superintendent Trowbridge, First Park Service Photographer Herford T. Cowling, and Horace M. Albright. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

The Dark Knight

THUNK! Batman (a.k.a. the Dark Knight) operated in a gray area between the worlds of right and wrong. His methods often justified his actions. Psychiatrists speculate that his serious temperament and profound sense of guilt over the death of his parents could be construed as signs of depression.

Maybe that’s what Batman is about. Not winning. But failing, and getting back up. Knowing he’ll fail, fail a thousand times, but still won’t give up.

-Batman, D.C. Comics

THWACK! Stephen Mather also suffered from depression. As his trusted deputy Horace Albright recounts:

“It was a tragic story of this brilliant, creative, and successful man who was burdened with a mental condition that could burst upon him, without warning, when fatigue and stress mounted. In the light of contemporary knowledge, his condition might be labeled manic depression.”

Holy Stick Shift! That’s Not The Bat-Cycle. That’s NPS Director Stephen Mather Riding In A Motorcycle Sidecar. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

First Director Of The National Park System

THWAPP! Mather would have a breakdown in 1917. His family and friends would seek treatment. Despite this setback, Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane would appoint Mather to be the first director of the new National Park Service.

Horace Albright would be appointed as his assistant director. It would be up to Albright, however, to serve as acting director while Mather recuperated.

Holy Spectacle! Horace Albright Would Be Left To Defend The New Agency Against Its Old Adversaries. (Courtesy Of Wikipedia)

What Would Stephen Mather Do

UGGH! As he confronted the challenges of this fledgling service, Horace Albright, only in his mid-twenties, but considered a “boy wonder” by many, often asked himself: “What would Stephen Mather do?”

Horace Albright Shares The Story Of Stephen Mather’s Struggles With Depression And Mental Illness. Albright Gives His Readers A Gripping Portrait Of The Demons Mather Struggled With As He Shows Us The Man Behind The Mask. Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Confronting An Old Adversary | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

VRONK! Before the National Park Service came into existence, Albright had to confront the problem of commercial farmers, cattlemen and sheep herders using the national parks for grazing their livestock.

During the First World War, Secretary Lane was under tremendous political pressure to allow grazing on these lands. It was deemed important and necessary to the war effort. Proponents framed it as a question of feeding the troops versus protecting the grasslands.

A policy letter Lane approved in 1918 elaborated on the bureau’s dual mission of conserving park resources and providing for their enjoyment.

While reemphasizing the primacy of preservation, it reflected Mather’s and Albright’s conviction that more visitors must be attracted and accommodated if the parks were to flourish.

-The National Park Service, A Brief History, by Barry Mackintosh, 1999

There would be no rest for the dynamic duo
There Would Be No Rest For The Dynamic Duo As They Would Be Confronted With Old Adversaries. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

The Foremost Problem Facing the Park Service

WHACK! Horace Albright, who was running the National Park Service while Mather recovered, realized that allowing livestock to graze on park lands would decimate those lands. He concluded:

“The foremost problem facing the Park Service in the early months was a concerted effort by certain interests to make adverse use of the parks, excusing it as patriotism, but, in reality, attempting to open them once and for all for commercial and money-making projects alien to the Park Service’s organic act. Since the entry of the United States into the European conflict, this harassment had never let up.”

Cattle Grazing Threatened The National Parks. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia Creative Commons)

I was absolutely adamant about wilderness intrusion by domesticated animals, and I firmly believe that our collective action during the war established a policy that remained unbroken into the future. Had we let our defense down in 1918, the national park areas might have been desecrated forever.

-Horace Albright

An Unlikely Ally | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

WHAMM! Horace Albright found an unlikely ally in Herbert Hoover. Hoover, who oversaw Food Administration during World War One, stood with the Department of the Interior.

Hoover refused all requests to allow grazing on park lands. The combined actions of Hoover and Albright thwarted the efforts of those who wanted to open up these lands for commercial activities.

A new dynamic duo?
A New Dynamic Duo? While Stephen Mather Was Recovering, Horace Albright Would Find An Unlikely Ally In Herbert Hoover.
(Courtesy Of Wikimedia)

Leaving A Legacy | Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

WHAP! Stephen Mather returned to Washington D.C. to resume his duties as Director of the National Park Service after the end of World War One. He would remain there until 1929.

During this time, he created a professional civil service organization for the selection of park officials, increased the numbers of parks and national monuments within the system and established criteria and standards for adding new properties to the national park system.

 It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

-Bruce Wayne/Batman

Albright Succeeds Mather

ZAM! And, what of the Boy Wonder you might ask? Horace Albright had served as Mather’s loyal assistant and deputy director. During Mather’s illness, he had run the agency.

Now, he was ready to spring his wings. [Or, should I say spread his cape?] Albright would accept the position of superintendent of Yellowstone National Park on July 1, 1919. While he would leave Washington, Horace Albright would continue to work with Stephen Mather whenever his boss needed his help.

Ten years later, Mather ended his illustrious park service career. Who would replace him? Why Horace Albright of course! He would succeed Stephen Mather as the second director of the NPS . He held that post from January 12, 1929 until August 9, 1933.

Soon after Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, Albright accompanied the new president on a trip to Shenandoah National Park and mentioned his desire to acquire all the military parks. Roosevelt agreed and directed Albright to initiate an executive transfer order.

Under the order, effective August 10, 1933, the Park Service received not only the War Department’s parks and monuments, but the 15 national monuments then held by the Forest Service as well as the national capital parks, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and White House. The addition of nearly 50 historical areas in the East made the park system and Park Service truly national and deeply involved with historic as well as natural preservation.

-The National Park Service, A Brief History, by Barry Mackintosh, 1999

This dynamic duo didn't wear capes
Not All Heroes Wear Capes. The Dynamic Duo Featured In This Article Didn’t. (Courtesy Of Wikimedia) Stephen Mather & Horace Albright

Together, They Transformed The National Park Service

ZAP! Together, Stephen Mather and Horace Albright transformed the National Park Service. They provided the necessary infrastructure and updated park facilities so millions of visitors could enjoy these magical places year after year.

Mather and Albright professionalized the park service by replacing political appointees with men (and later women) who were selected strictly on the basis of merit. They built public support for the idea of a unified system of national parks to ensure Congress would adequately fund these important lands during the difficult years ahead.

Most national parks display a bronze tablet bearing in bas-relief the likeness of Stephen T. Mather. The text reads, “He laid the foundation of the National Park Service defining and establishing policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.”

As Horace Albright’s chronicle makes plain, a truer tribute would read, “There will never come an end to the good that THEY have done.”

-Excerpt from the foreword to Creating The National Park Service by Horace Albright & Marian Albright Schenk

The Legacy of Stephen Mather & Horace Albright | We Must All Do Our Part

ZOWIE! Mather and Albright established a mission statement for the new park service. At its core, it reflected the idea that the national interest must always dictate all decisions affecting public or private enterprise within these parks.

And, for Mather and Albright, this would mean the parks and everything inside of them, including all of the amazing wildlife and natural wonders, would be preserved and protected for generations yet to come. Stephen Mather and Horace Albright infused the men and women who followed them with this same spirit of dedication to serving the greater good.

For, as Batman had once reminded Robin,We All Must Do Our Part.” HOLY LEGACY!

The legacy of the dynamic duo
The Legacy Of The Dynamic Duo: National Park Service 2016 Centennial Celebration, Courtesy Of The National Park Service.

Summary | Leave Us a Comment!

That’s a wrap! If you enjoyed this article I recommend our ongoing Environmental Heroes Series. So far we’ve chronicled legends like Jimmy Carter, Rachel Carson, George Bird Grinnell, Stephen Mather, & we’re only just getting started!

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Tony Pattiz

Tony Pattiz is a retired history teacher currently researching and writing articles for More Than Just Parks.

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