Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
GENERAL PUBLICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
By Geo. L. Collins
Under this heading we have at present publications of a rather popular nature — that is, park information circulars, the National parks Portfolio and various maps; all of which embody good information, have a general appeal and are either distributed free or at as small a cost as is possible.
The Circulars of General Information probably have a wider distribution and possibly a greater indirect advertising value than any other of the park publications. They are necessarily small, as contents must be concise; their free distribution imposes restrictions in printing costs. Yet this same smallness in size is a contributing factor to their popularity as handbooks. I have noticed that a large percentage of Lassen visitors actually do read these little circulars for the interesting information contained therein.
I would suggest that the introduction of a little more variety in the text of these circulars could be done to their added interest – I have in mind here brief lessons in woodsmanship.
In the case of the Lassen Circular there have been some minor mistakes which have slightly shaded its value.
The park naturalist works closer to his park than most other employees and his particular qualifications fit him well for the job of submitting to the editor authentic data suitable for this publication. But this, I believe, has seldom actually been done in the past.
It has been my experience that the National Parks Portfolio moves rather slowly for the value offered. This is probably because not enough advertising or salesmanship is used in its disposal. The Portfolio subject matter could be better arranged in order that each park should be given an almost equal amount of space, to be filled with illustrations and type matter according to what would be necessary in order to make each separate park appear of about the same value. As it is at present, a discrimination is rather pronounced which does not help the smaller parks that are struggling to get ahead.
Good maps, of course, always are indispensable to the interested visitor. Their value, sale and use are assured.