National Geographic : 1966 Jul
Late in February, 1966, President Johnson asked Congress for authority to establish the proposed Redwood National Park, saying, "We cannot restore-once it is lost-the majesty of a forest whose trees soared upward 2,000 years ago... It is my recommendation that we move swiftly to save an area of im mense significance before it is too late." Legislation for a new nature park in the Guadalupe Moun tains of western Texas is well advanced. Here sprawls a gor geous realm of desert and mountain, somewhat like the Big Bend region of the Rio Grande River. The Guadalupes are long on history. Apaches lived among them, and their descendants still dwell on tribal lands north of the proposed park. Pioneer ranchers ran longhorn cattle in this harsh country. Stagecoaches thundered through, harried by Apaches, Comanches, and outlaws. We are looking, too, for a new park in the prairie grasslands, in which the buffalo once more would graze as they did before the hunters nearly wiped them out. Park to Honor Canoe-borne Explorers We hope to have a Voyageurs National Park in the Great Lakes country in Minnesota, near International Falls on the Canadian border. It would encompass part of the trade route of the French canoemen of the past.* I think the Sonoran desert region of the West needs a full park; we hope to get one with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona as starting point. Our most recent national park, Canyonlands in Utah, is a desert park (pages 56-7). Nearly 260,000 acres of erosion-carved sand and rock, Canyonlands is open right now. But you'd better be ready to rough it until we've done a little more work there. Some of the rangers still live in trailers and have set up offices *See "Relics From the Rapids," by Sigurd F. Olson, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, September, 1963.