Vertebrate Animals of Point Lobos Reserve, 1934-1935

Vertebrate Animals of Point Lobos Reserve, 1934-1935

Vertebrate Animals of Point Lobos Reserve, 1934-1935

Vertebrate Animals of Point Lobos Reserve, 1934-1935

Excerpt

A State park may be maintained for any one of several justifiable purposes. But the special purpose for which each park is established, and kept, should be clearly understood by all persons directly concerned and responsible for the management of that park. Areas set aside for play, for landscape viewing, or for the broader types of inspiration, may be cared for so as to obtain the greatest utilization possible; but distinction must be made as to the purpose of each particular area and care should be exercised not to confuse, or attempt unwisely to combine, many uses for one small area.

Point Lobos Reserve, it seems clear to us, justifies its purchase and permanent care preeminently as a unique example of the natural character of the narrow coastal strip of California. It is not actually a sample of any static condition on the coast; but it contains all the elements and qualities necessary to demonstrate the nature of the interaction of the natural processes which occur at one point. These processes are dynamic and they change continually, as they have always changed and as they will, if allowed, continue to change. They involve the sea, the land, the plants, the animals, and all the atmospheric and radiant forces of climate. In addition, and most important of all because of the possibility of improper interference, must be considered the influence of the presence and activities of man in this area.

To anticipate still further the results of our study in this area, we are convinced that effort should be aimed not directly to the permanent preservation of any specific objects now occurring in the park, but primarily to insuring freedom for all the natural processes which have produced those objects and which if permitted will, we believe, tend to maintain them for a long time in their most valuable form. This involves a degree of understanding and appreciation of these processes which we admit is difficult to attain and which probably is not now very wide-spread.

The opportunity to study the vertebrate animals of Point Lobos Reserve, in Monterey County, California, which came to us in the summer of 1934 was welcomed mainly for two reasons. In the first place, we believe that the part taken by the animal life in state parks and particularly in Point Lobos Reserve is important and needs definition and evaluation. That is, this phase of the resources of a park area needs more attention than it has received or is likely to receive in the establishment of such parks unless special studies are carried out and the results heeded in plans for permanent administration.

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