Nature Notes

Volume IV No. 1 - July, 1931

Protection For The Coyotes
By Frank Solinsky


Many campers, while gathered around their evening fires, have been thrilled and held spellbound by an eerie call. The uninitiated conjures images of an attack by ferocious beasts but to the woodsman it is the wild and beautiful bark of a coyote.

Recently five coyote pups were found in the woods about two miles below Government Camp, by two of the Beetle Control men. The men played with the pups, which were about a month old, for half an hour and then left them unharmed. The den was under a large log and in front of the den was a dead porcupine. The coyote has the enviable ability of being able to kill a porcupine without injury to himself.

Possibly it will be remarked that since the coyote is a pest, the pups should have been destroyed. Although such is the practice in some of the parks, the authorities here at Crater Lake feel that the coyote is an integral part of the woods and should be protected. In fact, the coyote almost balances his good with his bad, for although he kills grouse and other birds and small animals, he also preys on the destructive porcupines, gophers and rabbits.


Pacific Belt Of Volcanic Activity
By W. Layton Stanton, Jr., Ranger Naturalist

How many of us realize that Crater Lake lies in a belt of volcanic activity which entirely circles the Pacific Ocean? In the far north there are many evidences of volcanic eruption along the Aleutian peninsular of Alaska. This zone curves southward and extends along the western border of North America, South America and then westward across the southern Pacific Ocean. Many of the south sea islands, all of which owe their origin to volcanic eruptions, lie in this belt. The same conditions exist in the East Indies and along the eastern margin of Asia, thus completing the circle. Although the remnant of ancient Mount Mazama is but one of many thousands of volcanic peaks occurring in this zone, it is unique in that nowhere else is there found a lake, nestled in a crater or caldera, which can compare with our own Crater Lake.

Just what causes this great volcanic belt, science does not know. It must represent a zone of weakness in the crust of the earth through which molten rock and gases are able to reach the surface. But how may we explain the location of this relatively weak zone? That is another answered question. Some authorities believe that the weight of the ocean water pressing down on the ocean bottom forces subsurface material to either side, much as a block of wood might do if pressed down into a mass of heavy mud. This action might be expected to push up mountains along the continental margins and force molten rock and gas through the crust of the earth.

We should remember that Crater Lake and Mount Mazama, although magnificent and awesome in themselves, are expressions of some great system of forces which are continually at work in shaping our earth.

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