Volume III - No. 3
PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTS
THE LAW AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS IN CONSERVATION
Although recent international events have affected profoundly certain local applications of the measures described, general interest nevertheless is afforded by publication in Poland of a careful study by Jan Julian Nowak of the administrative problems arising from programs of nature protection (Problemy Administracyjne Ochrony Przyrody, Nakladem Panstwowej Rady Przyrody, Krakow, 1939).
A résumé, in French, of Mr. Nowak's extensively documented 95-page discussion, explains that the problems cited are by no means new. It continued, adapted and in part:
"The point of view alone has changed. Whereas formerly strictly economic motives dominated the question of natural conservation, those of a more idealistic character now come first. The earth, under human influences, has undergone negative changes. Man, having grasped the significance of the problem, has altered his views and, instead of destroying nature, he now defends it.
"This evolution has coincided with the development of richer thought concerning the very essence of governmental powers. . . The actions of central authorities now are shaped toward the defense of nature against selfish exploiters, and therein lies the germ of conflict between public and private interests. In that contest, social legislation always gains the uppermost position and, here and there, invades the field once reserved exclusively for civil jurisprudence.
"Still, the most generous actions of federal authority (or even those of international scope) with respect to conservation are inadequate for a realization of all results desired. The success of protective measures always will depend largely upon the initiative of the private citizen. . . . It becomes indispensable therefore that we broadcast to all the sentiment of conservation, for it must be a moral principle of central administration.."
Mr. Nowak lists a bibliography of 78 items: 75 Polish, 2 French and 1 German.
THE EARTH FOR NON-GEOLOGISTS
Our Amazing Earth, by Carroll Lane Fenton, (Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1939), offers at last a book that a geologist can recommend whole heartedly to non-geological friends and acquaintances who wish to learn the interesting story of the earth without wrinkling their brows in study or burdening their minds with technical terms. In 340 pages of comfortably large-sized type the author describes the earth and sketches its history in terms of the forces that have made it and continue to change it. The text reads easily for it is written in a style that is light without being flippant.
The book opens with chapters entitled "Meet our Planet" and "Earth's Beginning" which give the reader a proper orientation. In the pages that follow the author is not handicapped by strict adherence to the conventional chronological approach. He attempts to answer the oft-repeated question of "How old is it?" and then proceeds in a series of more or less independent chapters to discuss "Earth's Hot Spots", "Streams' Varied Ways", "Snow into Glacier", etc. A brief but connected history of the earth occupies several of the closing chapters of the volume. The author records a wealth of information yet succeeds in reducing geology to its simplest terms. In achieving this simplicity certain controversial subjects are treated with an air of finality that is largely but not entirely unavoidable.
The volume is profusely illustrated. Without exception the scenes depicted are chosen from the North American continent or the insular possessions of the United States. It is interesting to note that more than half of the photographs were taken in National Parks and Monuments. The linecuts are the author's own work, though some are based on sketches or photographs made by others. The features shown are drawn as simply as possible and they form an important supplement to the Text. A final brief chapter gives worthwhile suggestions to whose who wish to learn more about the earth -- either at home or in the field.--H.S.Ladd.
A NATURAL HISTORY SURVEY OF THE SMOKIES
How Great Smoky Mountains National Park is becoming better known throughout the nation and investigated more intensively by scientists is pointed out by Arthur Stupka, park naturalist, in "A Natural History Survey of the Great Smoky Mountains" (Touring, Vol. 6, No. 1, Asheville, 1939).
"As time goes by," writes Mr. Stupka, "the park is becoming better known, and the number of scientists who visit here and become interested in the region is increasing appreciably. The area is still in that fascinating pioneer stage when new species are frequently being reported and new facts concerning our plants and animals are coming to light at a rapid rate. In ecological work the possibilities at hand are practically without number; the altitudinal range of the various species, statistics on bird migration and population, the flowering and fruiting periods of plants at the varying altitudes, animal hibernation, and many others will serve to interest visiting scientists for a long time to come".
NEW YORK OFFICE OF TRAVEL BUREAU ISSUES NEWS LETTER
Travel and Recreation, a mimeographed bi-weekly news letter, made its editorial debut August 19. It is issued by the New York (45 Broadway) office of the United States Travel Bureau and will be concerned primarily with "items of news in the field of travel and recreation which should receive special note, the purpose being to furnish up-to-the minute information on national parks, monuments, historic sites, state parks and every place where outdoor recreation is to be found."
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