Page images

found sadly depleted when it finally ends. For most of the mountain regiments of the various combatants were in considerable part composed of alpinists. Foremost among the Italian army leaders stands the Duke of Abruzzi, Prince Luigi Amadeo, who has an enviable record of exploration and first ascents. Eighty-two members of the British Alpine Club are now at the front, and six have been killed in action. W. F. B.


In a previous BULLETIN we have called attention to a natural history survey of Yosemite National Park which has been undertaken by the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology of the University of California. The Sierra Club has a deep interest in the completion of this survey and has sought to encourage it both officially and through assistance rendered by individual members. It is gratifying to learn from Director Joseph Grinnell that a large amount of material and data have been gathered which will be utilized in the preparation of the following separate reports: “(1) a technical paper on the systematic status and relationships of the lesser known vertebrate species of the region; (2) a scientific treatise on the problems in animal distribution brought to light by the field explorations; and (3) a semi-popular account, in book form, of the natural history of the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians of the Yosemite region, to be illustrated, and to include a discussion of animal life as an asset of National Parks." Members of the Club and all who go into the High Sierra have a natural interest in the only poisonous reptile of the region. It is known that rattlesnakes do not occur in the higher parts of the Sierra Nevada, but it is very desirable that a map be prepared for publication showing accurately their range in the Yosemite Park. To this end members of the Sierra Club and others who have been in the Yosemite National Park are invited to report all their encounters with rattlesnakes, giving exact locality, altitude, date, and any exceptional circumstances. This information should be sent to Director Joseph Grinnell at the University of California. W. F. B.

NATIONAL PARK Every one who has the welfare of the national parks AFFAIRS at heart should "put his shoulder to the wheel" and help to pass the bill now pending before Congress and providing for a national park service. Practically every one is agreed that this is eminently desirable, but Congressmen must be impressed with its importance. Therefore, let each one write to as many Senators and Representatives as possible, and especially to those of his own district, urging the importance of passing such a measure. Do it now before the inclination is forgotten, for here is a chance to help materially. The terms of the bill are to be found in Notes and Correspondence of this issue.

The good work inaugurated by Stephen T. Mather as assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, goes on. His task has been a monumental one.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]


[merged small][merged small][graphic]


[graphic][merged small][merged small]

To bring order out of chaos and place the control and administration of all the national parks on a firm working basis is no small undertaking, especially when the red tape of Washington makes difficult even simple innovations. Mr. Mather has kindly consented to tell us elsewhere in this issue something of what he has done and is trying to do, but only those who have followed his work closely realize how much he has accomplished and how hopeful he is making the future outlook for the parks. We owe it to him and the private sacrifice he is making to carry on this work, to do all we can to pass the National Park Service Bill, and thus perpetuate this unification of management which he is building up and which may all be lost later on without such an established service.

As another step in the right direction, we note with profound satisfaction the appointment of Robert Bradford Marshall as General Superintendent of National Parks. Mr. Marshall succeeds Mr. Mark Daniels, who during his term of office accomplished much good in the way of suggesting plans for harmonious structures within the parks and the laying out of roads with the best landscape ideas in mind. The pressure of private engineering practice compelled Mr. Daniels to tender his resignation. Mr. Marshall brings to this work unusual qualifications and sympathetic understanding. He has either personally mapped or supervised the mapping of all of the parks and has visited them frequently in the past. He was Chief Geographer of the Geological Survey at the time of his appointment, and unquestionably his highest indorsement is to be found in one of John Muir's letters to the Secretary of the Club when he says: "I'm delighted we are to see Marshall. The best fellow of them all."

A bill is pending in Congress for the creation of a national park embracing the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, which all agree should be done. Another bill providing for the enlargement of the Sequoia National Park by adding the wonderful Kern and Kings River region lying to the east and north, will shortly be introduced and its passage should be urged by our members. This will embrace the Kern River Cañon, South Fork of Kings River Cañon and Tehipite Valley, all of them Yosemite-like valleys, and also countless wonderful features such as Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the United States. John Muir during his lifetime heartily indorsed this plan. The grazing and other interests in this proposed area must receive some protection and the bill will doubtless provide for this, but speaking comparatively, the scenic assets of this region far outweigh the commercial uses to which it might be put. It needs roads to make it accessible and usable, and the park control is much more likely to provide the needed money for this purpose.

W. E. C.



The 1915 Outing was a radical departure from the usual summer trips taken by the Club. Instead of moving the main camp and having the entire party travel over a rather comprehensive itinerary, a central camp in the Tuolumne Meadows on the Soda Springs property controlled by the Club was selected instead. From this camp side trips were taken to numberless points of interest, for in variety of attractive nearby features the Tuolumne Meadows surpasses any other campground in the entire Sierra. Another departure from our usual custom was keeping this central camp open for three months instead of the single month which usually covers the duration of our annual trips. Another smaller camp was established at Lake Tenaya for a portion of the time, since this was necessary to add to the convenience of those traveling to and from Yosemite. A camp was also established in the Yosemite Valley for a couple of weeks prior to the first of July, on which date the Soda Springs camp was opened. The Outing was certainly a success judged from the standpoint of those who enjoyed its advantages. There were more Eastern visitors than usual and their enthusiasm was unbounded. All of us were particularly impressed with the wisdom and advantage to the Club of gaining control of the Soda Springs property. Now that we have the Parsons Memorial Lodge erected there, which will probably be kept open each summer by an attendant, our members will be able to derive a distinct advantage from its acquisition. It is probably the most desirable single piece of property which could be selected in the entire Sierra. The opening of the Tioga Road has made this whole region easily accessible.

Financially the Outing was a great failure, and one of the members of the Outing Committee was obliged to advance a large sum to cover the shortage, since the By-laws of the Club will not permit any outing deficit to be made good from the regular Club treasury. This shortage is easily accounted for in the light of the experience. The attempt to keep the camp running for so long a period, with the heavy continuing expenses, whereas the attendance was more or less concentrated during a portion of this time only, and the greater counter attraction of the Exposition, which very materially reduced the attendance of our own members, explains the failure to make good the heavy initial outlay necessary to equip such a camp. It may be that some of this shortage can be recovered by either continuing a camp there in the future or by disposing of the equipment on hand.

Either the Club will have a camp there this next summer or Mr. Desmond, who has the government concession for establishing a chain

« PreviousContinue »