August 15, 1936 - Editorial - Why Have Any Principles?, by George Lorimer

More than eleven years ago President Coolidge, following a campaign participated in by nearly a hundred scientific and conservation societies, established by proclamation the Glacier Bay National Monument in Southeastern Alaska. The features which make the Glacier Bay region especially worthy of protection are its tidewater glaciers of the first rank in a setting of magnificent fiords and lofty peaks; its great expanse of shores recently vacated by melting ice, on which are coming in a new vegetation and a new animal population - visible demonstration of what happened over all of northern North America at the close of the Glacial Period; and its numerous well-preserved relics of interglacial forest.

On January third of this year a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives which provided "that all laws of the United States which apply to public lands and which relate to entry upon and use and appropriation of such lands for mining purposes shall apply within the Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska, notwithstanding the reservation contained in the proclimation of the President, dated February 26, 1925."

Because of extensive public protest this bill was quickly dropped, but was revived in the last three or four days of the session and rushed to passage.

It is difficult to understand this invasion of national park principles and standards, especially in view of President Roosevelt's dedication of the Shenandoah National Park that more such reservations are needed. (pg. 22)

Back to Old Weekly Press Table of Contents