The Regional Review

Volume III - Nos. 4 & 5

October-November, 1939



"Predator management has been greatly influenced by superficial observation, personal bias, exigencies of the occasion, and group pressures," writes Victor H. Cahalane, Acting Chief of the Service's Wildlife Division, as he takes a long view of the situation in the United States in "The Evolution of Predator Control Policy in the National Parks" (The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 3, No. 3, July, 1939, pp. 229-237). Accordingly, he points out, the policy of protecting virtually all predatory animals in the parks has resulted "from decades of experience".

Mr. Cahalane traces the gradual crystallization, through many stages of experimental and partial safeguards, of a governing policy of near-inclusive protection. He draws upon the nineteenth century records of the great western parks, particularly Yellowstone, where "the early superintendents exercised sporadic and haphazard control of wolves, cougars, and other carnivores". The slow but steady progress of a scientific attitude then is reviewed. Summarizing, the writer finds:

"It is evident that the national park predator policy in its various stages of development over the past 67 years has, on the whole, reflected the most advanced thought on the subject. Changes have been necessitated by special legal or natural limitations, and effected also by public sentiment and facts brought to light by scientific inquiry. Unfortunately the rapid recovery of hoofed mammals following near-extermination early in the twentieth century was but imperfectly perceived and predators were, persecuted in the parks for at least a decade after they had become vitally necessary to maintenance of a balance. Our present problems of over-grazed ranges are in considerable measure due to this lag in human perception of cause and effect. A forecast of future trends is brightened by the knowledge that many past difficulties can be avoided by adherence to the policy of basing protection entirely on scientific investigation and ascertained facts."


What is the Value of National Military Parks?, by Myrtis Dyches, of the Episcopal Orphans Home of York, South Carolina, has won first prize in a competition sponsored by the Kings Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

"The Park concept," explains Miss Dyches, "provides a new form of land use, humanly satisfying, economically justifiable, and with far-reaching social implications. Inherent in it is a new recognition of human values and a more intelligent method of commercial exploitation. As such it is a progressive step in land utilization and must take its place along with other great land-use techniques such as forestry, agriculture and mining. While it has been given considerable impetus in this country, it is still in its infancy. When it has been accorded proper recognition, the National Park system will comprise fewer lands than those devoted to forestry and agriculture, but it will include those areas and structures which cannot be adequately preserved and properly used under any other category of land management.

"When we speak of use, it does not necessarily mean development. One of the most important objectives of the park system is the preservation of large tracts of roadless wilderness, as a character and stamina building resource for all time. It is not luxury with which we are dealing, but National thrift. . . we must classify our lands and resources according to their greatest possible contribution to human welfare, which means to classify them according to their best use. In such classification, we must provide for the conservation and use of those resources that are primarily of inspirational character. Some lands are best suited for agriculture, others for mining, grazing, forestry, wild life refuges, and so on. But the Nationally important inspirational or recreational resources cannot be provided for under any of these; they will properly be conserved and will render their maximum use only when given Park status. A thrifty Nation will not overlook the conservation of such resources."


Through the courtesy of Myron H. Avery, Chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference and President of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, The Review has received a copy of a recent letter written to the editor of Smoky Mountains Handbook concerning additions to the literature of the Southern Appalachians.

"You perhaps know," wrote Mr. Avery, "that there has been a supplement to the Southern Appalachian Guide. . . Whatever its defects, the Southern Guide is the only available guide book to the Appalachian Trail [in the Great Smokies]. It would be of great help to the Conference if there might be included a note on these publications, setting forth that they are obtained from the Conference at 901 Union Trust Building, Washington. . . Worth including in the bibliography is the Conference publication, "The Guyot Manuscript". . .

"There are three other items in which I participated and perhaps should be hesitant in referring to. One, however, would seem to be of real value as it is a bibliography of the entire area. It is A Bibliography for the Great Smokies by Robert L. Mason and Myron H. Avery, Appalachia(journal of Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy Street, Boston, $.50), June 1931, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 271-277; Supplement in Appalachia, December 1936, vol. 21, no. 2, pp.209-210. Two other items are Arnold Guyot's Explorations in the Great Smokies by Paul M. Fink and Myron H. Avery, Appalachia, December 1936, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 253-261; and "The Nomenclature of the Great Smoky Mountains" by Paul M. Fink and Myron H. Avery, Publications of the East Tennessee Historical Association, 1937, no. 9, p 53-64."

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Date: 04-Jul-2002