The Regional Review

Volume I - No. 2

August, 1938


(Items selected from the weekly Washington bulletins prepared by Acting Regional Director Herbert Maier, Region Three)

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The Secretary has approved the following new titles for the Assistant Directors and Branch heads of the Service:

Hillory A. Tolson ---------- Chief of Operations
George Moskey ---------- Chief Counsel
Conrad L.Wirth ---------- Supervisor of Recreation and Land Planning
Harold C. Bryant ---------- Supervisor of Research and Education
Ronald F. Lee ---------- Supervisor of Historic Sites
Charles A. Peters, Jr. ---------- General Manager of Buildings
Thomas C. Vint ---------- Chief of Planning
Oliver G. Taylor ---------- Chief of Engineering
J. D. Coffman ---------- Chief of Forestry
John L. Nagle ---------- Superintendent of Memorials

The title of Assistant Director has been abolished.

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The U. S. Travel Bureau has sponsored its first cruise. Five Service employees, Messrs. Sager, Little, Ballard and Loomis, and Miss Loretta Griffin were included in the list of 400 passengers.

The cruise covered an 11-day trip to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands at $100 per passenger and included a visit to the Loquillo unit of the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico, which has been proposed as a National Monument or Park. It embraces one of the island's highest peaks, close to 9,000 feet elevation. The area is said to have the world's finest tropical rain forest with ferns 20 feet high. El Morro the Spanish fort at San Juan which has been proposed as a historical monument, also was visited by the travelers. The cruise was sponsored jointly with the Institute of Tourism of Puerto Rico.

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It has been apparent for some time that there is considerable confusion in the field concerning the relationship between the old Resettlement Administration the Farm Security Administration and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. The following statement has been prepared in clarification:

Resettlement, created in 1935, was charged with the administration of projects established under the Land Program of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). Its program included two types of projects: land use and rehabilitation.

That Administration was transferred to the Department of Agriculture on December 31, 1936, and the name changed to Farm Security Administration. The rehabilitation projects were retained but land use af fairs were entrusted to the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, an old-line organization established in 1922. Of the 98 agricultural projects it is planned that only 25 will be administered by the BAE for an indefinite period. The other 73 have been or will be transferred to other federal or state agencies. It is expected a few of these will be transferred to the Service.

The chief purposes of the Farm Security Administration now are to complete the rehabilitation projects inherited from the Resettlement Administration and to carry out the Farm Tenant Aid and Rural Rehabilitation programs of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act.

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A weekly travel talk is given over WNYC by Nelson A. Loomis, of the Travel Bureau. The 15-minute programs begin at 6:30 p.m. each Friday.

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The site for the $3,000,000 Jefferson Memorial in Washington has been determined. It will, be on the promontory on the south side of the Tidal Basin. Borings for the foundation are being made by the War Department under direction of the National Park Service. The memorial will be circular in plan with a 150-foot diameter and a dome-shaped superstructure. It will be somewhat higher than the Lincoln Memorial.

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The Biological Survey is creating the Great White Heron Refuge which will adjoin the Fort Jefferson National Monument in Florida. It will include 207,000 acres of land and water and embrace several thousand acres now in public domain. The Department of the Interior has indicated its approval of the project with the understanding that the Department of Agriculture will not object to legislation which the Service plans to introduce later to extend the boundaries of the Monument to include the Refuge.

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Fanning Hearon, who resigned recently as Director of the Division of Motion Pictures of the Department of the Interior, has become Director of the General Association of School Libraries which is being established in New York City with Laura Spelman Rockefeller funds. He will hold a relationship to the field of educational motion pictures which will be analogous to that of Will Hays in the entertainment movie field.

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A natural color photograph of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, taken from Greenbrier Pinnacle and facing Mt. LeConte, has been reproduced as the cover of the fall-winter catalog which is being distributed by the Atlanta branch of Sears, Roebuck, and Company. A reproduction of the cover appeared in the August 15 issue of Life. Several million copies of the catalog, it is reported, have been issued.

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The survey to determine whether coyote control in Yellowstone National Park, abandoned three years ago, will be resumed and whether certain big game species are in danger of extermination by coyotes, has been completed by Wildlife Technician Murie after a year of careful study. Information on the part played by coyotes in the destruction of livestock on lands adjacent to the park also is included in the findings.

Mice and gophers were found to be the major items of a coyote's diet. Elk ranked in a minor position and other game animals and birds were found to hold negligible places on the menu. Since game species are dependent on forage predation is helpful in certain localities where field mice and gophers do considerable damage to grasses and shrubs There is no indication that the antelope population is threatened by coyotes. The herd is holding its own and may be increasing. There is no evidence that the coyotes are a serious menace to bighorn, geese or the trumpeter swan.

No general exodus of coyotes to surrounding regions was found natural controls apparently operating to keep the population stable. Dr. Murie offers evidence to show control of the coyote can not be justified and he recommends no artificial measures be practiced at present.

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In response to an inquiry concerning the rate of growth of cave formations Earl A. Trager, Naturalist Division Chief has prepared a statement which corrects some of the popular misconceptions relating to the age of stalactites.

"Some engineer once determined," he writes "that at a particular locality travertine accumulated at the rate of one cubic inch per hundred years and upon this basis some very preposterous ages were ascribed to certain formations in certain caves. It has since been definitely proved that this rate of growth can not be applied generally in estimating the age of cave deposits. The rate of limestone formation depends upon many factors which include the type of rock through which the water seeps in entering the cave the temperature of the water the amount of humic or other organic acids absorbed by the water as it passes through the decaying vegetable layer near the surface and the amount of CO2 or carbonic acid gas present in the water. These factors all determine the amount of calcium carbonate which will be picked up en route to the cave opening.

"Upon entering the cave other factors determine the rate of deposition such as the rate of evaporation, the humidity and the amount of circulating air as well as the temperature. In some cases where waters pass through rocks containing very little lime and enter caves which have a comparatively high humidity, deposition is at an almost infinitesimal rate. In others where the ground water passes through limestone layers over which lie bogs adding humic acid to the water, deposition may take place at certain points at the rate of as much as four inches in thickness per year.

"Another factor which has led to many misstatements about the age of certain pillars is the fact that frequently the core of such a pillar is nothing more than a large block of rock which dropped from the roof and has subsequently been covered by a comparatively thin layer of lime deposit. I had occasion to examine a number of such colums in some of the Missouri and Mexican caverns which were reputed to be of very old age, and by accident found one which was cracked and learned that the surface layer was only one inch thick. This led to an investigation of a number of very large columns which were examined by drilling holes through the surface, and it was found that the coating was a very small propor tion of the entire mass.

"Because of these factors, it is very difficult for us to attempt to assign any specific age based upon the amount of cave formation present."

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The REVIEW has received the fol(lowing) comment from W. H. Bunce, Project Manager of Otter Creek Recreational Demonstration Area, West Point, Ky.

"I have just finished Vol.I, No.1 of The REGIONAL REVIEW. It was quite a surprise to find it in the mail, as Winchell apparently hadn't mentioned that Region One was anticipating a periodical. Personally, I found it delightful and compliments are surely in order for those promoting the idea.

"The Park Service, in all of its various enterprises, is so 'darn big' that only too frequently we in the field begin to feel lost and that we are jobs and not persons, or that our job is the most important job the Service is prosecuting.

"That is the value of such a bulletin as The REGIONAL REVIEW. We find that we all are members of the clan, that it takes each profession to make the Service click, that the historian is equally as important as the engineer, that we are all important to the whole, and more important The REVIEW brings us nearer to headquarters and gives us a clearer view of what they are attempting to do for us. . . How about adding a column of notes on "With the ERA"?

The REVIEW welcomes such fragrant bouquets but it also is prepared to dodge a few brickbats. It will be glad to receive suggestions and criticisms from any employees in the field or office.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002