Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/537

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THE NATIONAL PARKS

the tourist or the teacher who does not have access to large collections neither the government nor the scientific societies have offered any assistance in his search for information. The publications either are not generally available or are so voluminous and technical that the general reader is repelled rather than encouraged to seek information.

During the season of 1911 over 90,000 persons visited the national parks, not including the visitors to the Hot Springs of Arkansas. The majority of these tourists are intelligent and educated people anxious to learn something about the causes underlying the wonders they are witnessing. Every one who has seen the beautiful and brilliant pools

PSM V80 D537 Paradise park and mount rainier.png

Photograph by Asahel Curtis.

Paradise Park and Mount Rainier.

in the Yellowstone Park is at least curious to know the cause of the harmonious and delicate coloring. The guides and stage drivers generally state that the colors are due to mineral matter, and as most people usually associate color with mineral the tourist goes home fully convinced, when as a matter of fact the color in the pools is due to the growth of algæ, as has been conclusively shown by Mr. Hague and Mr. Weed.

The officers of the Department of the Interior, which has charge of the national parks, have reached the conclusion that a series of short scientific publications on the parks will not only add to the pleasure of