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Finding Aid to the William Penn Mott Jr. Papers, 1931-1992
BANC MSS 2000/133 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Indexing Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: William Penn Mott Jr. Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1931-1992
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2000/133 c
    Creator: Mott, William Penn
    Extent: Number of containers: 6 boxes, 8 cartons, 2 oversize boxes, 12 oversize folders, and 1 tube Linear feet: 15.2
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: Covers over six decades of Mott's professional life as a student of landscape architecture and as a park and recreation professional managing parks at the local, regional, state, and national levels. A comprehensive collection of his speeches form the bulk of the collection. Also included are files regarding his positions as Superintendent of the Oakland Park and Recreation Dept., General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, Director of the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Director of the United States National Park Service and other professional activities. Includes miscellaneous documents and reports about issues and projects in which he was involved and places he visited. There is little, however, of Mott's personal working papers, such as correspondence, writings, or meeting notes. Includes Mott's blueprints for Strawberry Canyon Park drawn for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
    Languages Represented: English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94270-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Penn Mott Jr. Papers, BANC MSS 2000/133 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    Title: William Penn Mott, Jr. Memorial Fund Records.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 2000/132 c
    Title: Dynamic Park Leadership, 1962-1967, oral history transcript,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 94/52 c
    Title: Services for Californians: Executive Department Issues in the Reagan Administration, 1967-1984,
    oral history transcript,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 87/255 c

    Separated Material

    Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. (BANC PIC 2000.076)
    Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California State Parks Foundation
    California. Dept. of Parks and Recreation
    Strawberry Canyon Recreational Area (Berkeley, Calif.)
    Oakland (Calif.). Park and Recreation Dept
    United States. National Park Service
    Recreation areas--California--Management
    Parks--California--Management
    East Bay Regional Park District (Calif.)
    Blueprints
    Addresses

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The William Penn Mott, Jr. Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by William Penn Mott III and John Mott on November 30, 2000.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Funding

    Funding for processing provided by the William Penn Mott, Jr. Memorial Fund.

    Biographical Information

    William Penn Mott, Jr., (1909-1992) received his bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan and his masters from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1933 Mott went to work for the National Park Service as a landscape architect helping develop facilities for Death Valley, Sequoia, Grant (now Kings Canyon), and Crater Lake National Parks and overseeing the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in several western parks. In 1940 he opened a landscape architecture practice and provided park planning for several Bay Area communities. The Oakland Park Department, under Mott’s supervision from 1945, gained national recognition for its city beautification program and for being the first urban park department to hire a full time naturalist. In 1950 Mott developed Oakland’s Children's Fairyland believed to be the first children's theme park in the country and an influence on the later creation of Disneyland.
    Robert Gordon Sproul recruited Mott to manage the East Bay Regional Park District in 1962. During his tenure he worked to professionalize the management and maintenance of the parks, helped bring Contra Costa County into the District, substantially increased the acreage of park holdings, and introduced the idea of a ring of ridge line trails along the hills that surround the San Francisco Bay. This project, now known as the Bay Area Ridge Trail, remained an interest throughout his life.
    Governor Ronald Reagan named Mott, Director of the California State Department of Parks and Recreation. During his eight years as director (1967-1975), Mott created the Asilomar Training Facility for professional park rangers and peace officers, widened policy to allow women and people with social science degrees to become state park rangers, and significantly expanded the state park system. Mott founded the California State Parks Foundation in 1969 to help finance the acquisition and maintenance of state parks through private funding. He served as president of the Foundation from 1975 to 1985.
    Director of the United States National Park Service from 1985-1989, Mott concentrated on keeping all of the national parks open and on protecting their natural resources from development. He initiated two new types of national parks - the national wild and scenic rivers and the tallgrass prairie reserve, and started the Horace Albright Fund, a privately funded program that supports park service personnel who wish to take a leave of absence in order to further their educational or career goals. Mott supported a number of controversial policies and programs including charging entrance fees to the major parks, the decision to allow the Yellowstone fires of 1988 to burn, and the proposal to reintroduce wolves into Yellowstone National Park. During the Yellowstone fires and the ensuing political fallout, Mott staunchly defended the career employees who had followed National Park Service policies concerning fire control and patiently explained to the press the necessity of fire to the natural environment. The Wolf Reintroduction Program opposed by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, was not initiated during Mott's lifetime.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Penn Mott, Jr. Papers covers over six decades of Mott's professional life as a student of landscape architecture and as a park and recreation professional managing parks at the local, regional, state, and national levels. A comprehensive collection of his speeches form the bulk of the collection. Also included are files regarding his positions as Superintendent of the Oakland Park and Recreation Dept., General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, Director of the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Director of the United States National Park Service and other professional activities. Includes miscellaneous documents and reports about issues and projects in which he was involved and places he visited. There is little, however, of Mott's personal working papers, such as correspondence, writings, or meeting notes.
    Of special note are drawings for Mott’s masters projects in Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, his blueprints for the Strawberry Canyon Park drawn for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s, letters to his wife Ruth while working as a consultant in Costa Rica, and 12 scrapbooks with clippings and other material.