WANTED: A BOOK
The Review notes elsewhere (see page 30)
Conservation's abstract of an article describing the creation and
development of a system of national parka in the Belgian Congo. It
constitutes the most recent addition to the growing but still woefully
inadequate sum of information concerning the progress which has been
made throughout the world in the establishment and protection of natural
reserves and historic sites.
The contribution, although modest, is welcomed by all
those in the Service who have an interest in keeping abreast of the
plodding but determined forward steps achieved in the field of
international conservation during these parlous years of world
preoccupation with undeclared wars and rumors of wars to come. The
addition is but a thin slice, however, of the somewhat formidable loaf
which is needed with increasing urgency for the documentary larder of
the national park movement.
There does not exist even an up-to-date skeletal
directory of the world's preserves; certainly there is no comprehensive
work that assembles authoritative materials relating to their geologic,
biologic, scenic and historic features, to the origins of their
sponsorship, to the methods by which they were established, and to the
directive machinery by which they are maintained as national trusts and
safe-guarded against destruction or exploitation.
Preparation of such a volume is a task to affright
the faint-hearted. An almost endless round-the-world correspondence,
tedious compiling and patient triple checking are among the onerous
requisites which appear to be sufficiently forbidding to discourage
part-time, left-handed study. Yet the labor, once completed, would be a
solid keystone contribution which well might afford support for many
complementary studies. The subject, if treated exhaustively, would
exceed by far the scope of a single doctoral dissertation or of a one-
or two-year fellowship, but either or both of those would appear to
offer a means of implementing the endeavor by providing a basic outline.
Altogether, the task should be inviting to some fearless researcher
favored with ample leisure, tireless eyes and strong constitution.
THANKS FROM SCOTLAND
A gratifying letter was received by the Service this
month from R.J. Erskine Orr, Managing Editor of The Greenock
(Scotland) Telegraph, who expressed his admiration for America's
accomplishments in historical conservation. "My closest contact with it
was at Richmond, Va.," he wrote. "We were much impressed with the care
and thoroughness with which the work of restoring the battlefields is
being carried out, and the interest which is added to it by creating a
museum on the very spot. . . . Mr. [Floyd B.] Taylor took us to
Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, all of which were very striking to
us in their combination of clear and accurate historical lay-out with
the dignity which ought to be preserved. . ."
The first of a series of American articles which Mr.
Orr is writing in his newspaper also commends the Service and urges
Britons to see this country's shrines.--H.R.A.