Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-6 : Writings

				
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                TH~    PINE    CONE                                     
                                            July 1, 1931. 
 
PRESiDENT OF BORDER G. P. A. 
WRITES NEWSY LETTER 
Mark L. Terry, President of the today.  From  what I can learn, Border G.
P. A., Luna     County,Ithis is a reasonably high percentwrites us the following
welcome let- age of survival, at that. ter regarding conservation  activi-
 Mrs. Jacobs is an  experienced ties in his neck of the woods:    poultry
raiser, and is taking care "of the birds for us on the halves, "I
wish to congratulate you and she furnishing everything but the the Board
upon the showing you breeding stock and the pen. We have made in the brief
time sincebulape25y50ftadsi 
the Board was created, and to as- built a pen 25 by 50 feet and six sue your
tha y  ae, md wole a feet high for the purpose. We have sure you that you
have my whole      ed to find a sale for hesare 
hearted support. There are a great of the birds, and hope to have them many
people here who feel about liberated here in the Mimhres Valthe matter as
I do, and I feel sure ley. that you may look forward to sev-  Our hens are
still aying eral memberships from this section. Mr. Yee Ling, at Hachita,
has givI am calling a meeting of our As- en us 40 more eggs, part of which
sociation for June 29 to discuss the we turned over to Mrs. Jacobs and State
Game Commission    meeting the balance to a Mr. Pond who lives scheduled
for August 1, and I insouthwest of town. He is also gotend to lay a proposal
before them  ing to raise birds on the shares to increase our per capita
remit- with us from now on. tance to the State Organization to  We expect
to have 50 hens next $1.00 per year. I feel that the year, and may buy an
incubator if membership of the G. P. A. should a suitable one can be found.
It support the work of the    Board begins to look like we were going since
it directly benefits all of them, to stock the Mimbres Valley with and I
believe that most of us here pheasants if we keep on as we are feel that
way about it.           going! 
You may be interested in know-    We turned   out three   surplus lng that
our Association has been cocks last spring, and none of them doing very well
at the  pheasant have left the place. They are quite raising game. Our four
hens which tame, in fact one of them  is enwe carried over the winter as
our tirely too tame. He gets mad if part last year's crop have so far anyone
refuses to feed him, and laid 148 eggs, though they did not the other day
chased a little girl get started to laying until April 20. up a peach tree!
Mrs. Jacobs swatMrs. Jacobs, who   is  handling ted him with a mop, so he
is now them for us has set eight hens on sulking in the alfalfa field. the
eggs, four  of  which   have   Bassett Lake-the lake which we brought off
chicks. From  the 72 built in cooperation with the Game eggs set under  
these  hens  we Department last year is nearly full hatched off 65 birds,
but have since of water and is a splendid sightWe lost 10 of them, all but
one through have just placed 250 sacks of sand accidents of one kind and
another. on the dam to keep  down  wave They are all past the infantile ac-
erosion, and the Game Department cident stage now, however, and I has promised
to give us some monsee no reason why we should not ey to widen and lengthen
it. We raise our remaining 55 birds. In plan to plant willows and duck food
fact some of them are a month old plants there this fall." 
The Fishing Waters of New Mexico 
By E. L. PERRY 
 
(Editor's Note:-In  this and succeeding issues of TIIE PINE CONE will be
published the results of a survey of the fishing waters of the State upon
which Mr. Perry worked at odd times during his five years of service in the
State Game Department. The object of this series of articles Is to present,
with.as few technical frills and furbelows as possible, and for the benefit
of the ordinary fisherman, the factors which govern fish production in our
various streams and lakes.) 
 
I. 
Fishing is one of the oldest pursuits of man. Hardly ever have archaeologists
unearthed the artifacts of ancient man without finding the implements, however
crude in comparison with  our modern tackle, with which he whiled away the
summer hours along the banks of his favorite stream or lake. Of such ancient
origin, and so deeply rooted is the passion for angling that to this day
it flows strongly in our veins, and while we may now wonder a little superciliously
regarding the tastes which prompted some of the pursuits and pastimes of
the ancients, we readily find ourselves in sympathetic understanding with
the Cave Dweller of prehistoric France, slipping away from his querulous
spouse with bone fish hook and hair line carefully concealed, or with the
Cliff Man of our own Frijoles Canyon "wetting a line" in the gurgling
Rito flowing before his doorway. 
There is another point of comparison between ourselves and our ancient forbears,
and it Is this: beyond a doubt he too was often sorely puzzled regarding
the distance between bites in certain waters, or at certain times. Unlike
ourselves, unfortunately, he had  no  Game Department at whose door to indignantly
lay his lack of success, so his gods doubtless bore the brunt of the blame.
Being a fisherman, we know without being told that he never by any chance
admitted any inadequacy in himself. 
Considering the vast store of very minute information regarding land animals
which man has collected and recorded; information the essentials of which
are familiar to almost everybody, It is a little surprising that even the
most ardent fisherman generally has but a very scanty knowledge of the biological
facts which govern as rigidly as ever did the laws of the Medes and Persians,
his chances of catching fish from a given water. Not that there has been
any laqk of scientific investigation  of acquatic organisms; quite the contrary.
Ever since the invention of the  microscope water has been the favorite field
of a vast host of inquisitive biologists, and there are hundreds of fat volumes
in which are set forth even the digestive processes and reproductive pecularities
of aquatic animals and plants too minute to be 
 
visible to the naked eye. Many a 1 high school student with a bent for the
subject can recite in detail the life history of a nymph collected at random
from the bottom of a brook, or glibly identify a fragment of algae from 
a pond. Countless thousands of acquatic  organisms, both plant and animal,
have been minutely studied, classified, named, and voluninously described.
The trouble is, as some one has neatly'summed it up, that "we know 
their bones, but not their habits." The fascinating career of the caddis
worm with his portable stone house and peculiar method of locomotion has
been the subject of a thousand biological romances, but just what part does
he play in the tremendously intricate, interlocking and  complete  economic
scheme which has its peculiar province beneath the waters, and which has

 
its ultimate fruition in fish for the angler? The aquatic biologist with
his elaborate equipment and artificial aquaria  can  answer that roughly,
though   not necessarily with any great degree of accuracy. No aquarium,
however carefully constructed and complied   represents an exact duplication
of the environment from which the subject under study was removed, and it
may omit elements which are obscure to the investigator but elemental in
nature's scheme. 
To the layman, of course, even this source of information is denied. If he
wishes to find out about the habits of quail the process is simple. He goes
out in the field where quail are to be found and studies them in their native
environment. ie can observe his subject as long as he cares to, as well as
the physical characteristics of its environmental surroundings, study its
habits and draw conclusions regarding its requirements, and be able in the
end to say instantly of any given location "this is good quail country,"
or the reverse. 
But the study of fish is not so simple. We are not equipped to live In their
native element, and hence are not able to study them in their habitual environment.
To most of us the depths are a sealed book, and hence mysterious. Most of
the fabulous creatures of mythology were water dwellers, and there are plenty
of people today who are willing to believe in seaserpents, mermaids, and
their ilk. We know that no such beings exist upon land for if they did we
could see them. We cannot see the bottom of a body of water, hence anything-or
nothing-may exist there. To the average fisherman a fish does not begin to
have its being until he has seen it at the end of his line. When it came,
how it began its life, by what means it lived, he knows not, and, 't must
be admitted in the interest of truth, often cares less. Sufficient unto his
needs is the fact that he has the fish in his creel. If he fails to get a
fish from a pool he presumes, without any basis in logic for the assumption
however, that the pool is fished out, that he is unlucky, or that the moon
is in the wrong phase. Ordinarily his remed  for-the-cndition-wtila1-e+_

 
edy for the condition woul dbe to' dump more young fish in the water and
thus improve the fishing. It is seldom  indeed that he  suspects that there
may be something wrong with the biological processes of his pool; that dumping
more young fish into it with a view to producing more fish for the creel
would be comparable to dumping more cattle into a barren pasture with the
expectation of increasing  the beef production. 
Fundamentally it is this lack of knowledge of the ecology of acquatic organims
that is responsible for a great deal of poor fishing water, and for a great
deal more of waste in the attempt to improve it. As   pointed  out  before,
such ecological investigations, by which is meant the study of the relation-

 
ship existing between such organisms and their   environment, is much hampered
by the limitations imposed by the fact that they dwell in an element which
man may not invade. But certain broad truths have never the less been discovered
by experiment and deduction, a consideratioi of which dissolves many mysteries
and incidentally exposes many time honored fallacies. To the fisherman the
possession of such knowledge means a more intelligent pleasure in his sport,
the advantage of being able to appraise a water for fishing purposes in advance,
and to determine the methods which are most likely to be successful. But
it has a much more practical and important application in  the improvement
of fishing waters, to the end that they may produce annually the greatest
possible amount of catchable fish. To 
 
partments of only a very few states 
ionsde  anything other than the  T'1'i     0'   A    X    TrFV     A    
    11-1'"N                 T         A        RbfV"Q        Q
Tbo 
 
volume of water present in determining the stocking policy for a given water,
and the Federal Government plants the great bulk of the game fish which it
produces upon the most meager data. And the improvement of the environmental
conditions in waters is still a practically untouched field though it offers
really amazing possibilities in many instances. 
NATURE'S BALANCE 
It is a fundamental principle of biology that all animal life depends for
existence, directly or indirectly, upon the presence of vegetation. This
is no less true of water animals than of those which dwell on land; if there
is no vegetation there are no fish. 
I see some one thumbing through the pages of his memory for the source -of
his understandirg that less than one per cent of the diet of the trouts is
composed of vegetable matter, and I hasten to assure him that the information
is accurate. The same is true of the mountain lion. But the mountain lion
dines preferably upon a deer, which in turn is a strict vegetarian. Similarly,
the trout feeds upon a great variety of acquatic animals which, if they are
not themselves vegetarians are eaters  of herbivores. All flesh goes back
to vegetation for its genesis, a breath taking thought when we consider how
earnestly we are striving to destroy the native vegetation in the Southwest
through   overgrazing, overlumbering,   and   other  similar abuses. 
The kinds of vegetation which grow in water are numerous almost beyond computation,
and they vary in size and  botanical complexity from microscopic plants which
live afloat and give the water its greenish or bluish color, to branching,
tree-like forms firmly rooted to the soil and standing several feet in height.
We are speaking now of course of the truly acquatic plants, and not including
those which have their feet in the water but their heads above it, and most
of which, by the way, play but little part in the economy of acquatic life.

At first blush it is difficult to see the necessity for this great diversity
in size and form and structure of plant life, but as we delve into the matter
more deeply it begins to dawn upon us that each of the species is a very
accurately fitting part of a tremendously intricate but smoothly functioning
plan; a plan which, of course, includes the animals, and which consists of
a chain of interlocking dependencies. Each of them depends upon some other
for existence, and  in turn contributes to the existence of some other. 
And all of them are locked up in the great general plan which we speak of
as the balance of nature, a scheme whereby the three broad classes of organisms
are forever balanced against each other to the end that waste may be minimized
and yet that neither of the trinity may destroy the other. These three classes
of beings are vegetation, the herbivores, and the carnivores, and each of
them are constantly engaged in consuming the bodies of the others in some
form. If we start at a point on the circle represkited by the plants, we
find that they are eaten by the herbivorous animals, that these latter fall
prey to the carnivores, and  that the carnivores eventually die and their
bodies dissolve into the elements which furnish food for the plants. Nothing
ever escapes in nature; it may be changed temporarily into some other form
but the basic elements remain constant in quantity and quality. 
Now how does nature prevent this three-story house of cards from tumbling
down? Suppose that the carnivores, for example, should devour all of the
vegetarians and thus break ,the chain of dependencies? Dame nature has taken
care of that. It is not practically possible for the carnivores to absolutely
exterminate the other tribe, and long before that point  is  even   approached
the law which provides that each pound of living flesh must have constantly
a given amount of food to live will have started to operate to reduce the
numbers of the meat eaters. 
(To be continued in August issue.) 
Plan Long-time 
Program to Re- 
 
store Wild Life 
That every state should build on a constructive program and over a sufficiently
long period of time for the restoration of game is exemplified by the new
ten-year program of Oregon, officials of the American Game Association point
out. "Ten years may seem a long time to look ahead, yet who will say
that in the last ten years Oregon angling has improved?" Oregonians
ask. "Such programs have been proposed in the past, and, of course,
a very praiseworth routine has at all times been carried forward, but detailed
study and advancement of the state's fish and game resoruces have ever confronted
the stumbling block of political change. A sound policy, to which any commission
membership has committed itself, should remain the objective of all subsequent
commissions until it is fully realized." 
 
~IXIN.1. t1..  ' ~  ~I~e-~-.Friends of Conservation 0 
 
The Ideal Place 
To lBuv Sporting Goods of the Best 
 
A. J. Reach, Wright & Ditson 
 
GOLF BALLS Reach Eagle 
Reach Paramount 
 
PARAMOUNT 
Wood and Iron 
Clubs 
 
TENNIS RACKETS 
Davis Cup 
Eagle Championship 
Tennis Balls 
 
SANTA FE BOOK & STATIONERY 
COMPANY, INC. 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 
 
HOTEL 
DE VARGAS 
A Modern Holstery Offering Every Advantage in 
LOCATION-ACCOMMODATIONS-RATES 
A Triumph in Combining the Hospitality of the Old 
West with every modern convenience for the guest. 
One Block from the Plaza SANTA FE 
 
~- B 
 
DE VARGAS BARBER SHOP 
SANTA FE'S ULTRA-MODERN SHOP 
FEATURING SANITATION - EXPERTNESS - COURTESY 
IN CONNECTION WITH HOTEL DE VARGAS 
SANTA FE 
 
WOODDAVIS HDWE. 
CO. 
FISHING TACKLE 
WINCHESTER 
AND 
REMINGTON 
GUNS 
Sporting 
Goods 
Camping 
Equipment 
Electrical Appliances 
 
On t 
Phone 
 
BEACHAMMIGNARDOT 
HDWE. 
Co. 
 
Good 
Equipment For Good Sportsmen 
A Complete 
Line of 
Fishing Tackle 
Guns 
 
Ammunition 
Camp 
Equipment 
and a 
Stock of 
Hardware and Home Furnishings Second to None 
SANTA FE 
 
OUR PRICES ARE ALWAYS LOW--OUR VALUES ARE ALWAYS HIGH 
J. C. Penney Coic 
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 
 
WHOLESALERS of 
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MILL SUPPLIES 
SANTA FE BUILDERS SUPPLY 
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Phone 164 
 
227 Don Gaspar 
 
SANTA FE 
 
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Che Inn at the End of the Trail 
ON THE PLAZA 
 
Management The Harvey Co. 
 
OLD SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 
 
I SANTA FE 
NEW MEXICAN 
PUBLISHING CORP. 
PRINTERS 
BOOK BINDERS 
SANTA FE, N. M. 
 
PATRONIZE PINE CONE ADVERTISERS 
 
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THE PINE CONE 
 
Pagej 
 
July 1, 1931 
 
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