For many years the development of the necessary scientific basis for an interpretative program in the Southwestern National Monuments was delayed because the National Park Service was unable to obtain adequate federal funds for research and the subsequent publication of its results. The problem was, and is, nationwide. To help solve it, and to gain cash to carry on interpretative activities unprovided for by budgetary allowances, Service naturalists all over the country have established auxiliary organizations, comparable to the Southwestern Monuments Association, whose net profits from sales of publications and projection slides are expended in donations "to do for the government (actually the park and monument visitors) what the government cannot do for itself."
The Southwestern Monuments Association, inspired by some of the older Associations, notably Grand Canyon Natural History Association, came into existence in 1939. It was the Executive Secretary's fond hope to bring to light by publication the old reports which early CWA and other programs had failed to publish (first, and specifically, this volume), and to issue and sell popular booklets to finance the extremely expensive technical ones.
All these years the authorsMrs. Van Valkenburgh and Mr. Jackson since 1934, and Miss Bartlett since 1946have waited patiently, or, at least, silently. They deserve the greatest of credit, not only for having completed their work promptly and effectively, but also for bearing with good grace a long delay in its publication.
Prospects for the future are considerably optimistic, and subsequent publications should appear fairly steadily. This, and other Associations, are growing into maturely effective tools, which fact, plus the modest but gradually increasing allowances for research being made by Congress, should enable this country's citizenry, who are the real owners of the national parks and monuments, better to understand and value them through the use of a steadily growing body of literature embracing both scholarly investigation and stimulating and perceptive interpretation.
DALE STUART KING
Last Updated: 04-Mar-2008
Copyrighted by Southwestern Monuments Association
Western National Parks Association