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National Leaders of American Conservation.

"National Leaders of American Conservation," edited by Richard H. Stroud and published by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 7100, Washington, DC 20560, augments and revises the earlier 1971 volume edited by Henry Clepper. It was sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of America, a private group of 52 environment-conservation organizations.

The book presents short (1-1 1/2 pages) biographical sketches of persons who have been the movers and shakers of American conservation. An important criterion for inclusion, however, is that the person and achievements be of national importance. Those important only locally or regionally are excluded. Nominations for inclusion were made by NRCA member groups and selected by an editorial committee. In reading through the book, one is struck by, what editor Stroud refers to as, that "the `face' of conservation is undergoing significant change. It will be evident that an older generation of leaders-in majority, pragmatic resource specialists-is in the process of transferring the reins of the conservation team to a younger generation of leaders-some of whom are idealistic generalists." That is also evident from the makeup of the NRCA itself; the three "fisheries" groups listed, the American Fisheries Society, the Sport Fishing Institute, and Trout Unlimited, are greatly outnumbered by many newer environmental groups.

It is good that the book is available, for the careers and accomplishments of many conservationists are often overlooked years after they pass from the scene. It begins with a short introduction to the origins of the American conservation movement and its leaders, and then presents the biographical sketches, arranged alphabetically, ranging from Ansel Adams, photographer, to Raphael Zon, forester. Presumably each person who reads the book will believe that his or her speciality is underrepresented. Still, it appears that fisheries science, in particular, marine fisheries, should have had a few more of its leaders represented. The book includes such leaders as Spencer F. Baird, Reeve M. Bailey, David L. Belding, Frank E. Carlton, Rachel L. Carson, R. W. Eschmeyer, Barton W. Evermann, Seth Gordon, William G. Gordon, John S. Gottschalk, John P Harville, Ralph O. Hile, Carl L. Hubbs, Robert F. Hutton, David Starr Jordon, Robert J. Kemp, Karl F. Lagler, William M. Lawrence, Aldo Leopold, Daniel Merriman, James W. Moffett, Paul C. Prichard, A. C. Redfield, William E. Ricker, Elwood A. Seaman, S. F. Snieszko, R. H. Stroud, Carl R. Sullivan, A. V. Tunison, John Van Oosten, Lionel A. Walford, David H. Wallace, and Christopher M. Weld.

Others listed having a fisheries background include Irwin Mark Alperin, Arthur R. Benson, Edward A. Birge, C. J. D. Brown, Kenneth D. Carlander, Herbert S. Davis, Samuel Eddy, George J. Eicher, Emmaline Moore, George C. Embody, Albert S. Hazzard, Robert M. Jenkins, R. E. Putz, Gilbert C. Radonski, and a few others; in all, over 480 conservationists are listed-active, retired, and deceased. Absent are quite a few who have made considerable contribution to the advancement of marine fisheries and marine fisheries science, not to mention oceanography. Nevertheless, the book is an important conservation history resource, and it provides interesting reading and insight into the background of some well known and some almost forgotten conservation leaders, as well as authoritative documentation of their backgrounds, affiliations, and most important contributions. Included are sources of other bibliographic materials for those inclined to read further. Indexed by biographee and individual contributor, the paperbound 432-page volume is available from the publisher for $25.95.
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Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1988
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