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EDITORIALS

SHALL SHEEP Powerful influence will be brought to bear this winter in DESPOIL an effort to have the national parks thrown open to sheep NATIONAL grazing. War pressure and the necessity for additional Parks ?* mutton and wool will be urged as the excuse for this ad

ditional entering wedge. But if these natural wonderlands are ever again invaded by the "hoofed locusts,” the fable of the camel and the Arab's tent will be repeated. Once allowed to enter, these destructive agencies will hold on like grim death, even when the asserted need is over. It took the courage and foresight of a John Muir and years of effort to "drive these money changers out of the temple," and no man was ever better qualified to judge the damage these wandering hordes did to the wild gardens of the Sierra and other mountain parklands. He accompanied a band of sheep on his first trip into the Sierra, and in all his wanderings was impressed with the desert-like destruction they left in their wake. To use his own words:

In the summer of 1889, I took one of the editors of the Century Magazine out for a walk in Yosemite and when we were camped one day at the Big Tuolumne Meadows, my friend said, "Where are all these wonderful gardens you wrote so much about?" And I had to confess—woe's me—that uncountable sheep had eaten and trampled them out of existence.

The axe is not yet at the root of every tree, but the sheep is, or was before the national parks were established ... the sheep consume every green leaf, not sparing even the young conifers, when they are in a starving condition from crowding, and they rake and dibble the loose soil of the mountain sides for the spring foods to wash away, and thus at last leave the ground barren.

And to think that the sheep should be allowed in these lily meadows! after how many centuries of Nature's care planting and watering them, tucking the bulbs in snugly below the winter frost, shading the tender shoots with clouds drawn above them like curtains, pouring refreshing rain, making them perfect in beauty, and

keeping them safe by a thousand miracles. . . A few years later he wrote:

On this ramble I was careful to note the results of the protection the region had enjoyed as a park under the care of the Federal Government. . . When I had last seen the Yosemite National Park region, the face of the landscape in general was broken and wasted, like a beautiful human countenance destroyed by some dreadful disease. Now it is blooming again as one general garden, in which beauty for ashes has been granted in fine wild This is no time to take advantage of a nation's stress and urge the granting of an unnecessary destructive privilege which will injure her at home as well as abroad. After the war is over the need of national parks will be greater than ever to help heal the wounds and allay the suffering of the war. Our parks should then be at their best and should not needlessly show the blasting effects of modern warfare. Every loyal American should be willing to sacrifice anything and everything vitally essential to victory, but we should not blindly sacrifice priceless possessions to our everlasting regret until the need for such sacrifice becomes compelling. The national parks are only a small fractional area of the public domain.

measure.

* The National Park Service has opened the parks to a limited number of cattle. While the necessity for even this is to be regretted, no permanent harm can result if the numbers are restricted, for cattle are not nearly so destructive to vegetation as shcep.

The French, who have superbly suffered the heaviest burdens in this war, are keeping the gardens of Paris blooming in all their peace-time glory in order to cheer the wounded and downhearted and make them forget for the moment their misery. Why does not France spend this labor in making shells or raising wool? Why not auction off the priceless art treasures of the Louvre if money and material gain is the only consideration in this war? No, the world is not coming to an end and there is a brighter day to look forward to, be it near or be it remote. And when that day arrives, let us not still be confronted with the terrible ravages of war by the sight of needless destruction of our wild playgrounds at home.

W. E. C.

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TO OUR CLUB There is a natural tendency in these days to relinquish MEMBERS the privileges of club membership for financial reasons.

The cost of living has risen and taxes of all kinds are greatly increased. Consequently the loyalty of all who belong to publicspirited organizations is undergoing a test. Many bear testimony that the Sierra Club makes a better return for value received than any other club of the kind. But we ardently hope to build up a membership that will not rate the question of individual benefit above the honor of sharing in the valuable public service which the Sierra Club is constantly rendering. Had it not been for the watchful protection which the club has exercised over the national parks and monuments of California, in particular, both present and future generations would long ago have been robbed of treasures of scenery that are now, and, we hope, will ever remain the pride and the inspiration of the West. In order to invade the national parks, wool and mutton men are sure to dress up their hope of private gain in the form of a public necessity. We need the support of all our members in any impending fight for the protection of our country's heritage of natural beauty. Let there be no slackers in our ranks! Maintain your membership!

W.F. B.

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Two ARCTIC A time when nearly the whole world is at war offers little EXPEDITIONS encouragement to the enterprise of explorers. Two notable

Arctic expeditions, however, were undertaken before the outbreak of the war. The safe return of members of both exploring parties last summer is a fact of great interest to students of the earth's surface. The Crocker Land Expedition carried a survey along the southeastern coast of Ellesmere Island, northwest of Greenland. That these explorers found a great increase of glacial activity throughout the northern regions, since the middle of the nineteenth century, is a fact of considerable climatic importance. In one place an enormous new glacier has formed as a result of the progressive refrigeration of the country. The land is said to be fairly buried in ice, which flows over and around the headlands and fills all the fiords. In view of the fact that the seasonal cold broke all records for one hundred and nine years in New England last spring, and the further fact that this increase of cold has been noted in the temperate zone of the entire northern hemisphere, one is tempted to raise the question whether another northern ice period is approaching

At Cape Isabella Mr. Macmillan, the leader of the expedition, was fortunate enough to find the records left by Sir George Nares of the British expedition of 1876, and mail for the Discovery and the Alert left a generation ago by Sir Allen Young of the Pandora. The latter vessel, renamed the Jeannette, was commanded by George W. De Long when he set out in 1879 from San Francisco on his fateful expedition.

The southern party of the Canadian Arctic Expedition made its way northward around Alaska to the point where the Canadian-Alaskan boundary line touches the Arctic Ocean. From there they explored the coast eastward for a thousand miles, consuming three years in the achievement of this task. Their discoveries are of great interest and importance. Among them is the cañon of the Croker River, deeply eroded from dolomite. The collections, both of plants and of animals, include specimens of groups never before encountered in the western Arctic area. The ethnologists found brand new material for study in the Copper Eskimos, whose language, folklore, and social customs were investigated by one of the anthropologists who lived and wandered about with them for half a year on the little known Victoria Island. These Eskimos make their tools of native copper, which was found there in nuggets weighing in some cases forty pounds. The geologist of the party estimated that two billion tons of the ore were in actual sight.

Reports of the discoveries made by the northern party under the direction of the noted explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson are now being awaited eagerly. He had not been heard from for a year and a half, but the Navy Department has, just as we are going to press, received word of the safe arrival of his party at Fort Yukon. Stefansson undertook to explore the Beaufort Sea region west of the Parry Archipelago and north of Alaska and Yukon Territory.

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The interests common to Alpinists and explorers of the Arctic regions receive new recognition in the fact that Mr. Macmillan has been invited to give an account of his explorations at the annual dinner of the American Alpine Club.

W. F. B.

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MOUNTAINEERS More than fifty of our members are now in the army AND WAR or navy or in hospital service. Nearly as many again

have sacrificed their business interests to devote themselves to civilian work directly related to the war. Still others, uncounted numbers of them, whose names will never appear on war-service records, are doubling already heavy burdens of work and responsibility in order that home enterprises of far-reaching importance may still be carried on.

In their mountain life mountaineers gain a democratic simplicity, a vigorous hardihood, that should stand them in good stead now. They learn there to respect discipline, to sacrifice individual desires to the good of the communal whole, to live cheerfully with little besides the three B's of mountaineering—bed, boots and bread. Indispensable knowledge this for a soldier. It is not surprising, therefore, to hear that high honor already has been paid one of our new officers. A group of drafted men training under him, given the opportunity to enter a reserve officer's training camp, declared that if they could be assured of going to France and fighting with him, they would prefer to remain in the ranks. This officer had learned, like the French officers, that leadership and comradeship may go hand in hand. We believe that when the war is over we shall be able to point with pride to more than one of our trail comrades, who in his hours of recreation amid the peace and beauty of our mountains has gained the strength, the self denial and the resourcefulness that will make him a gallant and trusted leader in the grim business of war.

M. R. P.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

REPORT OF THE TREASURER FOR THE YEAR ENDED MAY 5, 1917,

CARRIED FORWARD TO DECEMBER 31, 1917 At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club held May 5, 1917, it was voted that the fiscal year of the club be changed to the calendar year. Among other reasons for this change was the fact that under the old system the report of the treasurer, rendered in May, could not be published until the following January. The report ended May 5, therefore, has been carried forward to December 31, and henceforward will be rendered each year upon the latter date and published in the January BULLETIN.

At an earlier meeting it was voted by the directors that the fund derived from the bequest of the late Edward Whymper ($254.12) should be expended in reducing the debt on the Parsons Memorial Lodge situated on the Tuolumne Soda Springs property, this being a permanent improvement equally valuable to all members of the club.

SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES YEAR ENDED MAY 5, 1917

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