Items of Interest

The Spanish Government has enacted a law, published on Dec. 8, 1916, providing for the creation of national parks. All exceptionally picturesque regions, forests, or lands that the state may select for this purpose are to be considered part of the park system, and access to them will be facilitated by suitable means of communication. The natural beauty of the parks, their fauna and flora, as well as geological or water features of interest, will be protected from destruction, deterioration, or defacement. The idea of providing for national parks in Spain originated with the reigning king, who noticed the rapid disappearance of certain national fauna. A commission has also been established to interest tourists by protecting the artistic, monumental, and picturesque features of Spain, and by bringing such features to the notice of the public. As a result a museum of tourism now exists, and an official catalogue of the attractions which Spain has to offer has been prepared.

Over a million and a half people use the national forests as playgrounds each year, according to a statement made before the recent meeting of the American Forestry Association at Washington, D. C., by the chief of the United States Forest Service. The nineteenth century land system, he said, was one wholly of land distribution, which was successful as applied to agricultural lands but unsuccessful as applied to non-agricultural lands chiefly valuable for growing timber. The keynote of the present-day policy is to secure such a disposition, use, and development of the public lands as will render a maximum service to the public. "The country has recognized," he said, "that public lands of chief value for forest purposes and essential to protect water resources should remain under public control. The struggle is now on as to who shall own and control the public water power sites, the coal, oil, phosphate, and potassium deposits, and the common grazing lands that are not suited to development by individuals under any of the homestead laws."

Greeting from England
February 17, 1917

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