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 Craters of the Moon National

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cerberus
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PostSubject: Craters of the Moon National    Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:11 pm

In large part due to Limbert's work, Craters of the Moon National Monument was proclaimed on May 2, 1924 by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge to "preserve the unusual and weird volcanic formations".[1][21] The Craters Inn and several cabins were built in 1927 for the convenience of visitors. The Mission 66 Program initiated construction of today's road system, visitor center, shop, campground and comfort station in 1956 and in 1959 the Craters of the Moon Natural History Association was formed to assist the monument in educational activities.[22] The addition of an island of vegetation completely surrounded by lava known as Carey Kipuka (air photo) increased the size of the monument by 5,360 acres (22 km2) in 1962.[22]

Since then the monument has been enlarged. On October 23, 1970, Congress set aside a large part of it—43,243 acres (175 km2)—as Craters of the Moon National Wilderness, protecting that part under the National Wilderness Preservation System.

From 1969 to 1972, NASA visited the real Moon through the Apollo program and found that its surface does not closely resemble this part of Idaho. NASA astronauts discovered that real Moon craters were almost all created by meteorites while their namesakes on Earth were created by volcanic eruptions;[18] both are desolate. Apollo astronauts performed part of their training at Craters of the Moon Lava Field by learning to look for and collect good rock specimens in an unfamiliar and harsh environment.[23]




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