2 Land & Water L. Rev. 151 (1967)
Criminal Jurisdiction in the National Parks - A Clarification

handle is hein.journals/lawlr2 and id is 159 raw text is: CRIMINAL JURISDICTION IN THE
NATIONAL PARKS--A CLARIFICATION
During the year 1966, the 50th anniversary of the
National Park Service, a record 137 million Americans will
visit the 231 areas administered by the Service. An increas-
ingly pressing problem for the Service's Ranger Division is
the effective and efficient administration of justice. During
the 1965 calendar year a service wide report showed a 35.7%
increase in serious offenses. They included murder, man-
slaughter, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny and auto theft.
These offenses totalled 1,284 compared to 946 in 1964. In
addition there were 25,060 misdemeanors and petty crimes
reported for the same period. The petty crimes involved
attacks on persons and property; lewd and disorderly con-
duct; traffic, boating and fishing violations; vandalism; etc.
To complete the picture, 1,842 traffic accidents resulting in
property damage totaling $947,024 were investigated by
National Park Service officers.'
Unfortunately, those who prey on the public at home
have found him to be an easy mark at his weekend retreat
and in his summer vacation spots. The increase in crime in
the National Parks may logically be attributed to our unique
exposures. For example, park visitors being on the so-called
carefree vacation, are not likely to be overly security-conscious
of their persons or property, and are ideal prey for the
criminal .... .'
As it relates to the National Parks, the concept of juris-
diction, that is, the authority, power, or right to act, has been
an elusive one. The courts and administrative agencies of
the federal government have spoken of three types of
jurisdiction: exclusive, concurrent, and proprietary.
Areas of exclusive jurisdiction are federal reservations
or federal enclaves over which state and local governments
have no authority.' Exclusive jurisdiction is acquired by
three means: 1) Federal acquisition of land with state consent
under Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the United States
1. National Park Service, Informational Memorandum Analysis of Summary
Reports--Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety, 1965 Calendar Year.
2. Ibid.
3. Examples of National Parks under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United
States are: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain.

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