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With its 50th edition published in 1998, Nature Notes from Crater Lake has proven to be an effective means of communicating resource issues and values to park visitors. The publication appears annually and often features new discoveries important In resource management.

Interpreting resource management with publications is a challenge for staff in many parks. Peer-reviewed journals make important contributions to knowledge in a given field but reach a limited audience. Park newspapers, by contrast, are seen by thousands of visitors each year but lack the space to convey the importance of ongoing projects without oversimplification. Furthermore, information about resource management in newspapers competes with other types of messages. Articles appearing near the back of the newspaper may be perceived as relatively unimportant.

Publications sold through cooperating associations can play a vital role in communicating resource values and issues to visitors. Yet association offerings are dominated by commercial publications because of the need to generate sales. Since these items usually focus on only the most recognized features of a given area, the range of topics considered economically viable in small and medium-sized parks is limited. However, park staff can reach the public directly with publications by cooperating associations. Nature Notes from Crater Lake is one such example, and has proven to be an excellent way of putting new discoveries and the significance of ongoing resource management before the visiting public.

Published annually by the Crater Lake Natural History Association, Nature Notes typically features 8-10 short articles. Recent articles include "A Furry Encounter" with a flying squirrel, a closer look at the "True Firs of Crater Lake National Park," and "Understanding the Bimodal Eruptions of Mount Mazama." The authors are resource management staff and other individuals knowledgeable about natural resources in the area. Each article is reviewed by subject experts to ensure the accuracy of the information. Although somewhat eclectic, Nature Notes is popular with those who repeatedly visit Crater Lake. It is an inexpensive publication that highlights important information about resources and their management and thereby enhances visits, even first-time visits, to the park.

The 50th issue of Nature Notes from Crater Lake appeared in 1998, but the series has a pedigree stretching back to 1928. After a hiatus lasting three decades, a 1992 symposium celebrating the park's 90th anniversary brought about a revived publication that has appeared every year since then. Copies of the most recent issues of Nature Notes are available at the two Crater Lake Natural History Association outlets in the park.

Because they represent a valuable and entertaining, ongoing record, all articles in volumes since 1928 are readily accessible online. The indices allow you to access all issues, by volume number, volume/title, or author. It should be noted that there were no Nature Notes published between the years 1939-1945 and 1957-1991.

Should you reprint/repost any of the Nature Notes articles, it is permissible provided credit is given to the author(s), the publication, and Crater Lake Natural History Association.

cover of first issue
Cover of First Issue
cover of Centennial issue
Cover of Centennial Issue

Nature Notes is sponsored by the Crater Lake Natural History Association in cooperation with the National Park Service. ©1928-2002.

This article originally appeared in Natural Resource Year in Review 1998 titled "Nature Notes Highlights Park Resource Information for Crater Lake Visitors" by Steve Mark, Park Historian and Editor of Nature Notes, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

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Date: 15-Jan-2019