The Regional Review

Volume II - No. 2

February, 1939



Wild Life - and Rare - in National Parks and Paradises Round the World (Wild-flowers, trees, animals, scenery), by Millicent H. Morrison, with a foreword by Viscount Bledisloe and a postscript by Dr. A. Maude Royden. Published under auspices of the Green Cross Society (London) by the King's Stone Press, Long Compton, Shipston-on-Stour. [1938] 40 pp. One shilling.

"Glory to God!" exclaimed the one; "Well I'm dammed!" said the other, when two visitors first saw the beauties of the Yellowstone. "We speak a different language," observed the first, "but we both mean the same thing."

In this wise does Mrs. Morrison, honorary organizer for Britian's Green Cross Society, begin a brochure which is to lead her readers on a "new grand tour" of the national parks of more than 30 countries distributed throughout the world. Her modest but surprisingly fact-laden booklet constitutes the second effort ever made by any conservationist to appraise, nation by nation, the progress achieved to date in the preservation of primeval biologic and geologic heritages. Her work supplements and, through a difference in approach, illuminates Dr. René Salgues' "Protection de la Nature et Réserves floro-faunistiques" (Revue générale des Sciences, Vol. XLVII, Nos. 9, 10, 12, 13, Paris), which likewise conducts readers on a vicarious park-to-park itinerary.

Mrs. Morrison announces at the outset her intention to "indicate in some measure, country by country, how far the world has proceeded since the dedication of the first national park in 1872 [the Yellowstone] --not to overtake the long, long destruction of nature capital accumulated during un-numbered ages, for that is impossible; but whether since 1872, or the opening of this century, or since the Great War, the world has been able to keep pace in any measure with current destruction or spoliation." She points out the difficulties which may be encountered in nomenclature itself and decides: "For general understanding, therefore, it would perhaps be better to speak of National Sanctuaries, or National Wild Nature Parks. But this is for the Americans to say."

The author then proceeds to an inventory of the park stocks of nearly three dozen countries, enumerated, apparently, in the order of her travels. She records descriptive materials, ranging in length from a short paragraph to a page and a half, on the following regions: Eire, the United States, Canada, Chili, the Falklands, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Malaya, India, Burma, Ceylon, Africa, Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Russia (European and Asiatic), Finland, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands (including Java), Belgium, Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy. She pauses often for personal observation - some of them a bit wishful as when, on citing the park resources of Denmark, she writes: ". . . the primitive wild nature of Rebild National Park, North Jutland, is a precious possession, for its own sake, and because it is the gift of Danish-born American citizens -- a hint to the generosity of English-born American citizens."

Although the Green Cross Society, headed by the Marquees of Tavistock, devotes its energies primarily to the protection of trees and wild flowers, Mrs. Morrison concludes the brochure with an appeal for the establishment of international parks, one of them designed fundamentally to afford safeguards for wild fowl. ". . . the problem of Bird Protection," she points out, "cannot be met entirely by Sanctuaries in separate countries, valuable and excellent though these certainly are. International effort is essential; and this may well take the form of establishing International Parks - in the Arctic, for instance . . . New Zealand has a variety of remarkable birds, some of which make an almost unbelievable length of migration; and whose safety . . . depends primarily upon what happens in the Arctic. . . The breeding places in the Arctic may be ravaged or disturbed; or marine food from obscure cause may have diminished or deteriorated Anyhow, this is an affair for international cooperation."

Somewhat more arresting by its amplitude is a second proposal -- that all Tibet, "the last compact, comprehensive, unexploited, unaggressive country left in the world" -- be protected "in its entirety from all alien, un-invited influence," thereby making secure for all "an International Park in the biggest and broadest sense." --- H. R. A.

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Prof. Dr. René Salgues' inventory of the national parks of the world, La Protection de la Nature et Réserves floro-faunistiques, translated and adapted by the Region One office of the Service and reproduced as a 17-page mimeographed pamphlet, has been distributed during the last eight months to approximately 350 university and high school libraries as well as to many individuals. Requests for copies have been received from virtually every state and from schools in several provinces of Canada. Reproduced first in the Park Service Bulletin (Vol. VIII, Nos. 3 and 4), the article received further notice through its listing by the editor of the Vertical File Service, of New York, which has continued, during the first two months of 1939, to transmit librarians' requests for copies. The study of M. Salgues, combined with that of Mrs. Morrison, reviewed above, affords a fairly comprehensive panoramic view of park progress throughout the civilized world. Yet, since both authors make no mention of the phenomenal progress lately achieved in Mexico, students of world conservation may find it interesting also to examine the excellent article by Daniel F. Galicia, "Mexico's National Parks," in Parks and Recreation, Vol. XXII, No. 5, January, 1939, pp. 240-248.

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A six-page multilithed folder, which gives a clear thumb-nail description of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was issued recently by the Service. Illustrated by seven photographs, the leaflet offers data on the history, flora, fauna, recreational facilities and regulations of the North Carolina-Tennessee park. Roads and trails also are described.

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Thirteen hand-colored drawings illustrate Fauna of Morristown National Historical Park, a photographically reproduced check list prepared by Mrs. Melvin J. Weig, wife of Assistant Research Technician Weig. Her ornithological list embraces 122 species and there also are 23 entries in the total of mammals. ". . . She has done a very fine piece of work," wrote the Wildlife Division in a letter to Superintendent Cox. "It is hoped that Mrs. Weig will continue her ornithological work at Morristown and keep her list up to date. It should make an interesting check list for those park visitors who are interested in bird study."

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A multilithed pamphlet, designed as a companion booklet to that recently issued describing the origins, machinery and accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps, is in preparation by the Branch of Recreation and Land Planning. It will present in simple and popular style the history of the National Park Service, chronicling its genesis and growth and describing its aims and functions. The writing is being done by James F. Kieley, Associate Recreational Planner.

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The 1938 Yearbook -- Park and Recreation Progress, the Service's second annual review of national and state park developments, has been sent to the public printer by the Branch of Recreation and Land Planning and is expected to be ready for distribution during the spring. It will have the same format and general plan used in preparation of the 1937 edition. Eighteen authoritative articles have been contributed by leaders in various fields, both within and without the Service. A total of 31 photographs and three maps will illustrate the volume.

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Appreciation for the effectiveness with which archeological activities have been carried forward in Colonial National Historical Park is expressed by J. R. Mayer in a "Letter on Early Colonial Arms and Armor," addressed to the director of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences and reproduced in Museum Service, Vol. XII, No. 1. In answer to a request for data on early American arms and armor, Mr. Mayer points out the great difficulties encountered in finding authentic specimens and describes his satisfaction at the reward provided in the park museum---a cabasset helmet. "I believe these Jamestown finds are of historical significance," he writes, "because now we are in possession of fragments of the actual military equipment used by the founders of America's first successful colony. With them no doubt they fought the savages. . .Thanks to the National Park Service it is possible to answer your question at least in part...."

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Final approval was given this month to the design of the Founders' Memorial Plaque which will be placed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Newfound Gap on the Tennessee-North Carolina boundary line. Designed by Paul Manship, of New York, the plaque and memorial site are expected to be completed by early summer. The inscription will read:

This Park Was Given One-Half by the Peoples
And States of North Carolina and Tennessee and
By the United States of America AND
One-half in Memory of Laura Spelman Rockefeller
By the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial
Founded by Her Husband John D. Rockefeller.

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The last 30 miles of the Skyline Drive, which has been under construction in the southern section of Shenandoah National Park, will be opened to the public by mid-summer, it is expected, bringing to completion the scenic mountain route which follows the entire park from north to south. Meanwhile, plans have been made ready for beginning construction within a short time of a 27-mile link of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The section comprises three units lying between Rockfish Gap and Tye River Gap. Work began earlier in the year on a section extending from Piper Gap (below Roanoke) to the Virginia-North Carolina line. The Parkway is under construction throughout a 140-mile stretch reaching from Adney Gap, near Roanoke, to Boone, North Carolina.

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Burnside Bridge Farm, 136-acre section of the Antietam battlefields, was purchased this month at public sale by the Washington County Historical Association which, it is understood, will hold the property pending possible enactment of legislation designed to authorize its acceptance by the Service.

"The only outstanding historical structure on this battlefield, the Burnside Bridge, is located on the land," wrote John K. Beckenbaugh, Superintendent of Antietam National Battlefield Site. "The land extends from above the bridge to Snavely's Ford and over this land Rodman's division advanced from the Ford in turning General Toombs' right flank. It is one of the most historical and scenic sections of this entire area, including as it does about a mile of the Antietam Creek and wooded shoreline."

The farm embraces an area more than twice as large as that now under federal ownership. The National Battlefield Site, established in 1890, was the scene of the struggle of September 17, 1862, when the casualties were greater than on any other single day of the War Between the States.

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"No Federal project has enjoyed more widespread appreciation than the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. This is readily explained by the practical accomplishments of the enrollees as well as the disciplinary influence on the character and morale of our youth at this impressionistic period. . . The state is a direct beneficiary of the CCC program, probably the chief benefit being the physical and educational advancement of the boys themselves." --Louisiana Conservation Review, Vol. VII, No. 3.

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Nearly 5,000 mounted specimens, representing more than 1,400 species of higher plants, comprise the nucleus of the herbarium of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. In addition to that collection, approximately 2,500 specimens, embracing some 900 species of fungi, have been prepared for the herbarium of the University of Tennessee. There also are 3,000 specimens of mosses and liverworts, representing 343 species.

It is that phenomenal plant variety in the Great Smokies that attracts scientists from all over the world to the great wilderness park of the Appalachians.--Department of the Interior Nature Notes.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002