Act Designating Mount Rainier National Park
MPG V2.8, January 2013


As a National Park, Mount Rainier National Park (NP) is under the operation and management of the National Park Service (NPS), Department of the Interior. That said, it is the jurisdiction of Congress to pass the laws, signed by the President, which defines the appropriations (funds) and legal matters for the NP and which are implemented or translated into policies and regulations by the NPS for Mt. Rainier NP.

Types of Laws

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The Act designating Mount Rainier National Park was passed by Congress and signed into law by President McKinley on March 2, 1899. It set aside an 18 miles square park from the then existing Forest Reserves established in 1893, and expaned and renamed Mount Rainier Forest Reserve in 1897, see proclamations. Subsequent Acts, complete list, further defined the operation and management of the NP and expanded it within the surrounding national forests to what and where it is today.


Like any fight for pubic lands especially a national park, the fight to get the law introduced and then passed and signed took years. While the original law was introduced in 1893, the work for it started over a decade earlier from several groups, mostly the mountaineering clubs, scientific organizations and federal agencies. It was a collaborative effort with the usual key people.

This will be described in the history Web pages. This Web page is to present the original law passed and signed identifying Mount Rainier National Park, which is presented below, at the NPS Website, or you can read the PDF file.

The Act


CHAP. 377.-An Act to set aside a portion of certain lands in the State of Washington, now known as the Pacific Forest Reserve, as a public park, to be known as the Mount Rainier National Park.

  March 2, 1899

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that all those certain tracts, pieces, or parcels of land lying and being in the State of Washington, and within the boundaries particularly described as follows, to-wit: Beginning at a point three miles east of the northeast corner of township numbered seventeen north, of range six east of the Willamette meridian; thence south through the central parts of townships numbered seventeen, sixteen, and fifteen north, of range seven east of the Willamette meridian, eighteen miles, more or less, subject to the proper easterly or westerly offsets, to a point three miles east of the northeast corner of township numbered fourteen north, of range six east of the Willamette meridian; thence east on the township line between townships numbered fourteen and fifteen north, eighteen miles, more or less, to a point three miles west of the northeast corner of township fourteen north, of range ten east of the Willamette meridian; thence northerly subject to the proper easterly or westerly offsets, eighteen miles, more or less, to a point three miles west of the northeast corner of township numbered seventeen north of range ten east of the Willamette meridian (but in locating said easterly boundary, wherever the summit of the Cascade Mountains is sharply and well defined, the said line shall follow the said summit, where the said summit line bears west of the easterly line as herein determined); thence westerly along the township line between said townships numbered seventeen and eighteen to the place of beginning, the same being a portion of the lands which were reserved from entry or settlement and set aside as a public reservation by proclamation of the President on tho twentieth day of February, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and seventeenth are hereby dedicated and set apart as a public park, to be known and designated as the Mount Rainier National Park, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people; and all persons who shall locate or settle upon or occupy the same, or any part thereof, except as hereafter provided, shall be considered trespassers and be removed therefrom.

 Mount Rainier
 National Park,


 Vol. 27, p. 1063.

Sec. 2. That said public park shall be under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose duty it shall be to make and publish, as soon as practicable, such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the care and management of the same. Such regulations shall provide for the preservation from injury or spoilation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition. The Secretary may, in his discretion, grant parcels of ground at such places in said park as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of visitors; all of the proceeds of said leases, and all other revenues that may be derived from any source connected with said park, to be expended under his direction in the management of the same, and the construction of roads and bridle paths therein. And through the lands of the Pacific Forest Reserve adjoining said part rights of way are hereby granted, under such restrictions and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may establish, to any railway or tramway company or companies, through the lands of said Pacific Forest Reserve, and also into said park hereby created, for the purpose of building, constructing, and operating a railway, or tramway line or lines, through said lands, also into said park. He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or profit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing upon the same after the passage of this Act to be removed therefrom, and generally shall be authorized to take all ench measures as shall be necessary to fully carry out the objects and purposes of this Act.

 Secretary of the
 Interior to make
 regulations, etc.

 disposition of

 Rights of way
 to park granted
 through Pacific
 Forest Reserve.

 Protection of fish
 and game.


Sec. 3. That upon execution and filing with the Secretary of the Interior, by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, of proper deed releasing and conveying to the United States the lands in the reservation hereby created, also the lands In the Pacific Forest Reserve which have been heretofore granted by the United States to said company, whether surveyed or unsurveyed, and which lie opposite said company's constructed road, said company is hereby authorized to select an equal quantity of nonĀ·mineral public lands, so classified as nonĀ·mineral at the time of actual Government survey, which has been or shall be made, of the United States not reserved and to which no adverse right or claim shall have attached or have been initiated at the time of the making of each selection lying within any State into or through which the railroad of said Northern Pacific Railroad Company runs, to the extent of the lands so relinquished and released to the United States: Provided, That any settlers on lands in said National Park may relinquish their rights thereto and take other public lands in lieu thereof, to the same extent and under the same limitations and conditions as are provided by law for forest reserves and National Parks.

 Grant of land to
 Northern Pacific
 Railroad in
 exchange for land

 Lieu lands to

Sec. 4. That upon the filing by the said railroad company at the local land office of the land district in which any tract of land selected and the payment of the fees prescribed by law in analogous cases, and the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, he shall cause to be executed, in due form of law, and deliver to said company, a patent of the United States conveying to it the lands so selected. In case the tract so selected shall at the time of selection be unsurveyed, the list filed by the company at the local land office shall deseribe such tract in such manner as to designate the same with a reasonable degree of certainty; and within the period of three months after the lands including such tract shall have been surveyed and the plats thereof filed by said local land office, a new selection list shall be filed by said company, describing such tract according to each survey; and in case such tract, as originally selected and described in the list filed in the local land office, shall not precisely conform with the lines of the official survey, the said company shall be permitted to describe such tract anew, so as to secure such conformity.


 Description in
 selection list of
 unsurveyed land,

Sec. 5. That the mineral land laws of the United States are hereby extended to the lands lying within the said reserve and said park.

 Mineral land laws
 extended to park.

Approved March 2, 1899.

That's what created Mount Rainier National Park. The fight to get this was over and the fight was to get the NP working. Since the National Park Service had yet to be created consolidating all the NP's into one agency, each of the then five existing and later NP's were under independent administration by the government controlled by Congress.

Since this law was enacted a subsequent number of laws have been implemented which governs the NP. You can get a complete list with full text of each on and the list and full text of current laws.

Additional Resources

Below are sources with the full text and some with summary information of the historical or current laws governing the National Park Service's operation and management of Mount Rainier National Park.


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WSR V2.8, January 2013