Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

Springs was kept open by means of a snowplow attachment operated ahead of a caterpillar tractor. This was done at very slight expense. Park travel became so heavy that the hotel accommodations were taxed to the utmost and during the four months from December 1 to March 31, 9,553 people visited Longmire Springs. Plans are being made to increase the hotel accommodations for this next winter season, as well as to install more equipment for snow sports and other amusements for visitors. The Mountaineers of the State of Washington held their eleventh annual outing in Paradise Valley during the Christmas holidays, reporting an unusually successful meet, and several other organizations also held outings in the park. It is believed that with this remarkably encouraging start, Mount Rainier National Park will become one of the great winter resorts on the Pacific coast.

Sequoia and General Grant Parks also appear on the list of parks open for winter sports. Tobogganing, skiing, and hiking were supplemented last winter by the building of a huge ice palace and snow fortifications. During the month of February alone over 1,000 people enjoyed the winter sports in General Grant Park.

Lafayette National Park annually affords a variety of coldweather sports to the visitor, including snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing, skating, and ice-boating, and judging by the enthusiasm with which these opportunities are seized, the park will prove more popular to devotees of these sports as each year passes. ARCHEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS AND RESTORATION OF RUINS

This year Congress appropriated the sum of $5,000 for general repairs to existing ruins and work is going forward with these funds at Casa Grande, Tumacacori, Montezuma Castle, Gran Quivira, Chaco Canyon, and Aztec Ruin Monuments under the personal supervision of the Superintendent of Southwestern Monuments, Frank Pinkley. If this progressive program of repair is carried forward a few years most of the existing monument ruins can be placed in condition to withstand the elements for many years, thus saving them for posterity.

In the Mesa Verde National Park for a number of years a few thousand dollars have annually been put into excavation work conducted under the supervision and control of the Smithsonian Institution. This past year, however, in order to do some much-needed repair work, the small amount of funds we had was devoted to repairing and protecting some of the prehistoric ruins, already excavated, and no new excavation work was undertaken. It may be necessary to follow this policy for a number of years until our superintendent, himself a competent and trained archeologist, is satisfied that existing excavated and repaired material is not in danger of collapse or disintegration.

In the Chaco Canyon National Monument the National Geographic Society's expedition, under the direction of Neil M. Judd of the United States National Museum put in its fourth year of exploration work on the Pueblo Bonito and Pueblo Arroyo ruins. Pueblo Bonito is considered one of the most important and instructive prehistoric ruins in the Southwest, and the National Geographic

Society is to be commended for making it accessible for study and inspection by the public generally.

GIFTS TO THE NATIONAL PARK AND MONUMENT SYSTEM

Each year I have had the pleasure of reporting to you generous gifts from park friends, and this year is no exception.

Three deeds giving the United States title to tracts of land, totaling 358 acres, donated through Superintendent Dorr for inclusion in Lafayette National Park have been accepted by the department. In addition, donations of money for road and trail building purposes have also been received.

The city of Medford offered the United States two lots, tax free, for use as sites for a residence for the superintendent of Crater Lake National Park with attached office, for a warehouse for the storage of park equipment, and other structures. Just before adjourning Congress passed an act approving the acceptance of these lots by the Government.

Congress, in the Interior Department appropriation act for this year, also authorized the United States to accept a tract of land offered by the city of Hot Springs for use as a camp site in connection with the administration of the Hot Springs National Park.

Through the efforts of the American Association of Museums the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial became interested in the development of museums in the national parks and appropriated $70,500 for the construction, equipment, and maintenance for three years of a museum in Yosemite National Park. This project is discussed in detail on page 8.

Mrs. Stella M. Leviston, who two years ago gave $3,000 for the construction of one wing of a museum in Mesa Verde National Park, this year added another $2,000 to provide for the completion of the wing. Another gift of $3,500 toward the completion of the museum, installation of cases, and other improvements has been offered the park superintendent.

The administrative and inspection work of Frank Pinkley, Superintendent of Southwestern Monuments, requires a great deal of travel, which he has been doing in a Ford truck, having covered over 50,000 miles in six years. The monument funds have been so limited that the expense of a new car could not be met, so I interested several friends in buying a new car for Mr. Pinkley, and with additional contributions from local citizens, was able to purchase a small touring car at a cost of $1,075.

Myron Hunt, prominent architect of Los Angeles, donated the plans for the new administration building in Yosemite National Park and also a considerable amount of time in supervising its construction.

A donation of $100 by the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce enabled the service to get out an edition of 9.500 copies of the Hot Springs Rules and Regulations, which were greatly needed but for which only one-half the amount needed was available from Federal funds.

The Hawaii Tourist Bureau has provided for the printing of an edition of 100,000 copies of the Hawaii Rules and Regulations pamphlets for distribution to the traveling public.

The Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. made available over $1,300 to cover the cost of printing 40,000 copies of the Yellowstone Rules and Regulations, to be given out to train tourists.

The pamphlet descriptive of camping trips in the Grand Canyon National Park was again made available by the Santa Fe Railway. Forty thousand copies of this pamphlet were issued.

A donation of books for the library at the Grand Canyon was received, and also some scientific publications for addition to the Yosemite collection. The Yosemite also was the recipient of an interesting collection of arrowheads and swords, and Crater Lake National Park received an original painting of a covered wagon crossing the Oregon plains.

All these donations, and the generous spirit that prompted them, are deeply appreciated by the service officials here, as well as by the officials of the parks and monuments directly benefited.

PRESERVATION OF PARK FORESTS

The summer of 1924 presented one of the most serious forest-fire hazards in the West that has occurred for some years past, but fortunately, the national parks came through practically unscathed. Apprehension began early in the spring, when a most unusual dry spell developed generally throughout the West and extended to the Pacific coast. It became evident then that only the most intense vigilance would prevent a calamity to our park forests. As the season opened with an inrush of visitors and no improvement in weather conditions, the situation became critical. Serious conflagrations outside the parks were reported with alarming frequency, and in several instances there seemed to be no hope of preventing their taking toll in the parks. One devastating fire burned to within a mile of the El Portal entrance of Yosemite Park before it was brought under control. On another occasion only the most heroic efforts on the part of fire fighters saved General Grant Park from destruction. A number of small fires elsewhere kept our forces on the move throughout the season, but fortunately timeliness in locating them prevented their spread to serious proportions. All fires are small at the start, and alertness in locating them and speed in reaching them are the chief factors in holding them in check. No small credit, however, should be given to the visiting public, which cooperated splendidly in observing our fire regulations and reduced the dangers of fire to the minimum. In fact, educating the public to the dangers resulting from careless handling of fires has been a contributing factor in our success. It is to this understanding by the public that we attribute the reduction of fires in the Yellowstone from 324 in one year to 19 the next year.

CANADIAN PARKS HAVE HIGHLY EFFICIENT FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT

During my visit to four of the Canadian national parks this summer I was much impressed with the efficient fire-fighting facilities available there. A remarkable series of high-power portable pumps has been developed which deliver four powerful streams of water through 11/2-inch linen hose 500 feet from pump to nozzle; or one stream 3,000 feet on a level or 300 feet up a mountainside.

The use of canvas reservoirs and relays in connection with these pumps enables delivering water to forest fires high up in the mountains or great distances from the source of water, and their extreme compactness and lightness of the outfit make transportation easy either by auto or by pack train. Similar equipment should be made available for fighting fires in our national parks. In enabling the park forces easily to reach and control fires with this equipment before they gain much headway and in putting out ground fires which, burning deep, destroy the seeds of second growth timber that would soon obliterate the fire scar, thousands of dollars would be saved in actual fire-fighting expenses, while the saving of the forest growth would be incalculable.

Although the national parks suffered but little physical damage, they could not escape entirely from the effects of the public's apprehension brought about by exaggerated reports of actual conditions and of the closing of some adjacent national forest areas to tourists, and as a result travel in some, particularly Yosemite, fell off materially.

SERIOUS INSECT INFESTATIONS MUST BE COMBATED

While the forests escaped serious damage from fire, they were subject, on the other hand, to the increasing menace from insect attack. I referred to this danger in my last report, and while further investigations were made during the past season and some control measures adopted, results obtained thus far indicate only partial success. Attacks on some of the timber in Yellowstone Park by the spruce budworm and lodgepole sawfly have become especially acute. To combat these depredations a high-powered sprayer was shipped to the park from the East and used during the summer. This method is apparently effective, but its use is limited to the timber along the roads. In the Yellowstone some 300 square miles of timber on the west side of the park were found badly infested, while reports from Crater Lake National Park indicate 30 square miles of lodgepole pine killed by infestation. Every effort is being made by the service to protect the forests under its jurisdiction, and it is constantly receiving assistance and counsel from the United States Bureau of Entomology, and also from entomologists outside of the Government. Increased appropriations for this important work will render effective aid. Our experiences indicate that insect infestations are far more destructive than the fires we have to combat and therefore should be fought as strenuously as any fire. CLEANING UP DEAD AND DOWN TIMBER AN IMPORTANT PROTECTIVE MEASURE

Another measure of forest protection which should be inaugurated at the earliest practicable date is that of cleaning up the dead and down timber and improving roadside conditions in the parks. Not only would the beauty of the woods and the scenery be enormously improved, but from a practical standpoint the cost of removing these serious fire hazard conditions from the invaluable park forests would be justified. Work of this character could be carried on in the fall when there is not much travel on the roads where the débris could be hauled and burned. The winter snows would restore the natural conditions so that by spring all evidence of disturbance of natural conditions involved in the clean-up would be gone.

[graphic]

Photograph © by K. Maehara 1. SPECTACULAR ERUPTION OF KILAUEA VOLCANO, MAY, 1924

[merged small][graphic]

B. BOMBARDED AREA 2,000 FEET FROM RIM OF CRATER, KILAUEA VOLCANO

The holes in the foreground were made by bombs hurled from the pit

HAWAII NATIONAL PARK

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »