The Regional Review

Volume III - No. 2

August, 1939



Establishment and growth of a national park system in the Belgian Congo are recorded in the current issue of Conservation (Vol. V, No. 4, pp. 40-43), which digests the information contained in a Bulletin prepared by the Institute of National Parks of that African colony. Students of international conservation will find the article a welcome addition to the meagre materials relating to the world's natural and historical reserves.

The article points out that King Leopold II had created special game preserves in the Congo Free State as early as 1889 to protect elephants against ruthless slaughter, but it was not until 1925 that Albert National Park was set aside as the first unit of a system that now includes three large areas. A decree of 1929 guaranteed the independent character of the Institute of National Parks of the Belgian Congo, establishing it as an autonomous organization directed by an administrative commission and a managing committee responsible only to the Minister for the Colonies. Careful studies conducted by the Institute resulted in the addition of two new parks: Kagera, a vast area in Ruanda, created in 1934, and Garamba, on the borders of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, set aside in 1938. The youngest of the parks, says the article, ". . . has taken the place of the one-time hunting reserve of Aka-Dungu. It is hoped that this park will be the means of protecting and preserving some groups of white rhinoceros, eland and giraffe. This strict reserve, which covers 1,250,000 acres, has the appearance of a grassy savanna with only gentle undulations."


The Journal of the American Military Institute (Vol. III, No. 1, Spring 1939) reproduced two full-length articles and a note by Service employees. Branch Spalding, Superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, contributed "Jackson's Fredericksburg Tactics," and Thor Borresen, Junior Research Technician of Colonial National Historical Park, was the author of "The Markings of English Cannon Captured at Yorktown." Alfred F. Hopkins, Museum Curator at Morristown National Historical Park, provided a note, "An Early Colonial Helmet".

In his article, Mr. Spalding posed the question whether the gap in Stonewall Jackson's line on December 13, 1862, might have been a deliberate disposition rather than an oversight. Federal troops penetrated the line but were boxed in and ejected by large reserve forces. "Whether Jackson . . . was simply laying a deadly trap to annihilate Yankees, or was doing both that and consciously experimenting with new defense dispositions which might be practiced in a world war a half-century later on undreamed-of front widths, is an imponderable question," said the writer. "But careful comparison of his formations at Fredericksburg with corps and army masses on the Eastern Front during the World War offers a profitable and interesting investment of time for the modern military student. It may conduce to the opinion that Stonewall Jackson was not only the smartest general officer on the field at Fredericksburg, but he was also ancestor of the modern flexible defense."


Adolph Murie, Wildlife Technician, recently witnessed in Mount McKinley National Park, Alaska, a one-scene drama which illustrated strikingly the vital biological ends which are served by unhampered predation, In a report of field activities, Dr. Murie wrote:

During four successive days, as thrilling a period as I have ever experienced, from 2 to 4 wolves were observed at the forks of the Teklanika River. During this time hundreds of caribou, mainly cows and calves, were moving up the east fork of the Teklanika, then down the east fork, then up the west fork, and over the hills to Sanctuary River, hurrying along like typical Americans. The wolves were apparently there to feed on calves or anything else that came their way. A black wolf was observed running down a calf. The incident, which happened directly before my lookout so that I was afterwards able to measure the distance the wolf ran, the distance the captured calf dropped behind his more fleet contemporaries which were able to follow the cows like little shadows, and other data could all be gathered. The incident illustrated natural selection, the survival of the fittest perfectly. The caribou calves are so speedy that it is not unlikely that very often those a little below average are the ones that drop behind and cannot quite escape the wolf. A grey wolf, which was associating with the black one and two silvery manned cripples, was seen give serious chase after a band of cows and calves, for almost one-half mile. When the wolf reached a slope over which the caribou had fled it was left hopelessly behind and stopped.


A brief documented history of Jefferson (New Orleans) Parish, an interesting description of the French-speaking Barataria region, and a detailed account of muskrat trapping are among the articles appearing in the 1939 Jefferson Parish Yearly Review, official publication of the Police Jury, the governing body.

The history of the parish, prepared by the WPA Historical Records Survey, is traced from La Salle, in 1682, to the present day. It describes the social, economic, and political growth of the area. Lyle Saxon, author of Lafitte the Pirate, the basis for the film Buccaneer, contributes "Traditional and Romantic Jefferson," pointing out the interesting tours which await the visitor in Barataria. Meigs O. Frost's "Tropical Trappers' Fur frontier," illustrated by 24 photographs, tells how Louisianans capture, prepare and ship some 3,000,000 muskrat pelts each season after a stay in temporary cabins along the bayous.

<<< Previous
> Contents <
Next >>>
Date: 04-Jul-2002