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No. 231 September 6, 1999
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
TWO KEYSTONE ARID LAND PAPERS
From: William Reid <whreid at infowest.com>
Dr. Wesley Larsen of Toquerville, Utah has given me copies of
two papers by Walter Cottam that ought to be keystones in dis-
cussions of the effects of grazing (and combined grazing and
fire) in the arid West. Having spent six years at Hanford,
Washington, I know their scope goes beyond Utah.
Wes Larsen was Dean of Science at what is now Southern Utah
University in Cedar City. He, at 83, has recently retired a
second time, since (he claims) he now has his student loans paid
off. Actually, he wants to spend full time on writing in his
coupled areas of interest, botany, ethnobotany, human ecology
and history. The papers are:
Cottam, W.P. and George Stewart. 1940. Plant Succession as a
Result of Grazing and of Meadow Desiccation by Erosion Since
Settlement in 1862. Journal of Forestry 38(8): 613-626.
This paper uses data on the much visited Mountain Meadows in
Washington County, Utah. It clearly illustrates the ecological
catastrophe at this once-key resting area on the trail from
Santa Fe to California taken by Fremont in the 1840s.
Cottam, W. P. 1947. Is Utah Sahara Bound? Univ. of Utah Bulletin
This paper strikes at the heart of the Utah myth that the
"desert has been turned green," and was given on the occasion of
the University of Utah's annual Reynolds Lecture for the centen-
nial settlement year. Cottam shows the process of range destruc-
tion in a cultural socioeconomic context, and asserts that much
of the damage occurred within two or three decades of settle-
ment. He cites data that grass cover in Utah's Great Basin went
from 45% to Zero between 1857 and 1937, while Artemisia in-
creased from 1% to 12% and Chrysothamnus rose to 13%. It's a
powerful paper that must have taken great courage.
In 1947 the cattle industry in Utah had great leverage as it
still does today, though both then and now its economic con-
tribution is small. Then, however, he had substantial support
from cattlemen in retaining public lands under federal control.
Only the federal government, they believed, could direct the
needed resources to range research and restoration.
Restoration-minded or not, today Cottam would be labeled an
"environmentalist," a term of some approbation in Utah. For-
tunately, 1940 and 1947 were years before the term was coined.
Wes assures me that Cottam (one of his professors) was a scien-
tific activist, arguing (for example) with county commissioners
against sheep trailing in sensitive watershed canyons, and
speaking out on restoration at any opportunity. Walter Cottam
was decades ahead of his time, and his papers have extra power
from that today. He saw it as it was--and is.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE AMERICAN COCKERELL - PREPUBLICATION OFFER
The American Cockerell: a naturalist's life, 1866-1948. William
A. Weber, F.L.S., Editor. The biography of a highly regarded
naturalist at the University of Colorado in the early Twen-
tieth Century, culled from the subject's own autobiographical
In The American Cockerell, A Naturalist's Life, 1866-1948,
botanist William A. Weber pulls together pieces of the life of
T.D.A. "Theo" Cockerell, a man who was an internationally known
scientist, a prolific writer, and a highly regarded teacher at
the University of Colorado in Boulder. The elder brother of the
noted scholar Sir Sydney Cockerell, Theo labored in relative
obscurity in America while his brothers and their families were
basking in the limelight of smart British society.
Despite his alienation from his elite background, he neverthe-
less became a great teacher, a mentor, a kindly artist and
writer of rhymes for children, and the greatest specialist on
bees in the world. His contribution to the understanding of wild
bees is monumental; he catalogued over 900 species in Colorado
alone, and he assiduously collected them wherever he traveled.
By 1938 he had published the names and descriptions of 5,480 new
species and subspecies. Despite his accomplishments in entomol-
ogy however, Cockerell resisted specialization. He was also an
early supporter of women's rights, a Morrisian socialist, an
avid reader, and author of almost 4,000 published scientific
papers, book reviews, and discussions of political and social
Pieced together from T.D.A.'s little-known autobiographical
writings, The American Cockerell demonstrates this extraordinary
individual's breadth of interest, competence, and talent. It
will be of interest to scientists and lay readers alike. Most of
the papers originally were written for young students and the
public; his insights into the future problems facing education
especially in America were prophetic.
Available at special 20 per cent prepublication discount,
US$23.96 (until November) from University Press of Colorado,
order toll free 1-800-268-6044. You must mention SOURCE CODE FLD
when placing an order. Address of the University of Colorado
Press is PO Box 849, Niwoty CO 80544.
NEW BOOK: THE LICHENS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA - PART 2
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska at victoria.tc.ca>
Goward, T. 1999. The lichens of British Columbia, illustrated
keys. Part 2, Fruticose Species. Special report series no. 9.
British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC. 319 p.
ISBN 0-7726-3961-2 [soft cover] Price: CDN$ 55.00
Available from Crown Publications Inc., 521 Fort Street,
Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 1E7, Phone: (250) 386-4636, Fax:
This book covers 309 species of fruticose lichens that occur or
are expected to occur in British Columbia. It starts with a
short, clear introduction to lichen morphology. In the main
part, Trevor Goward provides keys for identification of genera
and species. Range and habitat, chemical reactions, and chemical
constituents are listed for all the species. In numerous notes
that accompany descriptions, Trevor adds any information useful
for the species identification or for understanding their dis-
tributions. Trevor did all of the drawings that form the in-
tegral part of introductory chapters and keys. You will see that
it is a great advantage when the author of a taxonomic treatment
can illustrate his own work.
I was impressed by the keys to Cladina (72 species; mind you,
that's only about a one half of our sedges!) and I liked all the
information on the "Calicioid" lichens - those small pins that
you can find on tree bark in our ancient forests. BEN readers
won't be at all surprised that I don't like Trevor's effort to
provide common names for all lichens "as vehicles of communica-
tion for those unwilling to use scientific names." Some of those
common names sound like they were coined while under the in-
fluence of Cladonia pleurota - "Mind-altering pixie-cup."
The book is very well produced and both Trevor Goward and the
British Columbia Ministry of Forests should be congratulated for
this excellent contribution. Many thanks, Trevor!
P.S. I should mention that this volume is a sequel to
Goward, T., B. McCune, & D. Meidinger. 1994. The lichens of
British Columbia, illustrated keys. Part 1, Foliose and
Squamulose Species. Special report series no. 8, B.C. Minis-
try of Forests, Victoria, B.C. 181 p. ISBN 0-7726-2194-2
[soft over] Price: CDN$ 31.00
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