International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in gathering and analysis, field projects, lobbying. IUCNs mission is to influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of resources is equitable. Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to equality, poverty alleviation. Unlike other international NGOs, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation and it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, and through lobbying and partnerships. The organization is best known to the public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List. IUCN has a membership of over 1200 governmental and non-governmental organizations, some 11,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis.
It employs approximately 1000 full-time staff in more than 60 countries and its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role in the implementation of several conventions on nature conservation. It was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature, in the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its relations with the business sector have caused controversy. It was previously called the International Union for Protection of Nature, establishment In 1947, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature organised an international conference on the protection of nature in Brunnen. It is considered to be the first government-organized non-governmental organization, the initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and especially from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. At the time of its founding IUPN was the international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years.
Its secretariat was located in Brussels and its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were closely associated and they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of endangered species was drawn up for the first time
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Horned lizards are a genus of lizards which are the type genus of the subfamily Phrynosomatinae. The horned lizard has been called a horny toad, or horned frog. They are totally adapted to desert areas, the spines on its back and sides are made from modified reptile scales which prevent the water loss through the skin, whereas the horns on the heads are true horns. Of 15 species of horned lizards in North America, eight are native to the United States, the largest-bodied and most widely distributed of the US species is the Texas horned lizard. Horned lizards use a variety of means to avoid predation. Their coloration generally serves as camouflage, when threatened, their first defense is to remain still to avoid detection. If approached too closely, they run in short bursts. If this fails, they puff up their bodies to cause them to appear more horned and larger, at least eight species are able to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of the eyes for a distance of up to 5 feet. They do this by restricting the flow leaving the head, thereby increasing blood pressure.
This not only confuses predators, but the blood tastes foul to canine and feline predators and it appears to have no effect against predatory birds. Only three closely related species are known to be unable to squirt blood. To avoid being picked up by the head or neck, a horned lizard ducks or elevates its head and orients its cranial horns straight up, or back. If a predator tries to take it by the body, the drives that side of its body down into the ground so the predator cannot easily get its lower jaw underneath. It is possible that their diet of large quantities of venomous Harvester Ants could be a factor, the blood-squirting mechanism increases survival after contact with canine predators, therefore, it is probable that, while unorthodox, the trait could have provided an evolutionary advantage. Ocular autohemorrhaging has documented in other lizards, which suggests blood-squirting could have evolved from a less extreme defense in the ancestral branch of the genus. Recent phylogenic research supports this claim, so it appears as though the species incapable of squirting blood have lost the adaptation for reasons yet unstudied, a University of Texas publication notes that, Horned lizard populations continue to decline and disappear throughout the southwest despite protective legislation.
The species most often noted for declining numbers is the Texas horned lizard which has disappeared from almost half of its geographic range. Texas designated the Texas horned lizard as the state reptile in 1993
Arbutus is a genus of 11 accepted species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae, native to warm temperate regions of the Mediterranean, western Europe, the Canary Islands and North America. The name is borrowed from Latin, where it referred to A. unedo, Arbutus are small trees or shrubs with red flaking bark and edible red berries. Fruit development is delayed for five months after pollination, so that flowers appear while the previous years fruit are ripening. Members of the genus are called madrones or madronas in the United States, in Canada—in British Columbia, where the species is common—arbutus is commonly used or, rarely and locally, tick tree. All refer to the species, Arbutus menziesii, native to the Pacific Northwest. It is Canadas only native broadleaved evergreen tree, some species in the genera Epigaea and Gaultheria were formerly classified in Arbutus. As a result of its past classification, Epigaea repens has a common name of trailing arbutus. Arbutus andrachne L. – Greek Strawberry Tree Arbutus canariensis Duhamel – Canary Madrone Arbutus pavarii Pampan, Arbutus unedo L.
– Strawberry Tree Arbutus arizonica Sarg. – Arizona Madrone Arbutus glandulosa Mart and it is likely that either or both of A. canariensis and A. andrachne conferred not only structural size but leaf size and smoothness of bark. The parent species likely experienced different blooming times, as the hybrid blooms nearly continuously, Arbutus × andrachnoides Link Arctostaphylos tomentosa Lindl. Comarostaphylis discolor Diggs Gaultheria phillyreifolia Sleumer Arbutus species are used as food plants by some Lepidoptera species including emperor moth, several species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants outside of their natural ranges, though cultivation is often difficult due to their intolerance of root disturbance. The hybrid Arbutus Marina is much more adaptable and thrives under garden conditions, the Arbutus unedo tree makes up part of the coat of arms of the city of Madrid, Spain. In the center of the city there is a statue of a bear eating the fruit of the madroño tree, the image appears on city crests, taxi cabs, man-hole covers, and other city infrastructure.
The tree figured into certain myths of the Straits Salish, the fruit is edible but has minimal flavour and is not widely eaten. In Portugal, the fruit is distilled into a potent brandy known as medronho. In Madrid, the fruit is distilled into madroño, a sweet, Arbutus is a great fuelwood tree since it burns hot and long. Also, according to the Great Flood legends of several bands in the northwest, because of this the Saanich people do not burn madrone out of thanks for saving them. Vasey, Michael C. & Thomas Parker, V.2001, phylogeny and Biogeography of the Arbutoideae, Implications for the Madrean-Tethyan Hypothesis
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. The park was established in 1940 and covers 461,901 acres and it incorporated General Grant National Park, established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias. The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park and they were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years, the first Native Americans in the area were Paiute peoples, who moved into the region from their ancestral home east of Mono Lake. The Paiute Nation people used deer and other animals for food. They created trade routes that extended down the slope of the Sierra into the Owens Valley. Kings Canyon had been known to white settlers since the mid-19th century, United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes fought to create the Kings Canyon National Park. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph and document this among other parks, the bill combined the General Grant Grove with the backcountry beyond Zumwalt Meadow.
Kings Canyons future was in doubt for nearly fifty years, some wanted to build a dam at the western end of the valley, while others wanted to preserve it as a park. The debate was settled in 1965, when the valley, along with Tehipite Valley, was added to the park, Kings Canyon National Park consists of two sections. The parks Giant Sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and this section of the park is mostly mixed conifer forest, and is readily accessible via paved highways. Both the South and Middle Forks of the Kings Rivers have extensive glacial canyons, one portion of the South Fork canyon, known as the Kings Canyon, gives the entire park its name. Kings Canyon, with a depth of 8,200 feet, is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The canyon was carved by glaciers out of granite, the Kings Canyon, and its developed area, Cedar Grove, is the only portion of the main part of the park that is accessible by motor vehicle. Both the Kings Canyon and its Middle Fork twin, Tehipite Valley, are deeply incised, U-shaped glacial gorges with relatively flat floors and towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high.
In addition, the canyon has several systems, one of which is Boyden Cave. To the east of the canyons are the peaks of the Sierra Crest, which attain an elevation of 14,248 feet NAVD88 at the summit of North Palisade. This is classic high Sierra country, barren ridges and glacially scoured lake-filled basins
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71, 028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve, some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. All of the beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation. The even smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, the peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands and uplands. The Seashore administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, the northernmost part of the peninsula is maintained as a reserve for Tule Elk, which are readily seen there. The preserve is very rich in raptors and shorebirds.
The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the Gray Whale migrating south in mid-January, the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark. It is the last remaining example of a rail launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast and this encompasses 5,965 acres along the coast of Drakes Bay. Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village, is a walk from the visitor center. The Point Reyes National Seashore attracts 2.5 million visitors annually, hostelling International USA maintains a 45-bed youth hostel at the Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, formed in 1964, collaborates with the Seashore on maintenance, like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. A large shellfish farm raising Japanese oysters, Crassostrea gigas, was located in Drakes Estero until, under court order, Court appeals to keep the operation in place were dropped in December,2014. The farm was purchased by the National Park Service in 1972, a federal law enacted in 2009 authorized, but did not require, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to renew the permit.
The NPS and conservation groups viewed the farm as an inappropriate and environmentally-insensitive use of the estero, the farms supporters argued that it was not ecologically harmful and was important to the local economy. Salazar visited the farm the previous week and phoned the farms owner to give him the news. The oyster farm closure was challenged in U. S. District Court on January 25,2013, the challenge was rejected by a federal court judge, who ruled that the law gave Salazar unfettered discretion to approve or deny a renewal of the permit. The California Coastal Commission voted on February 7,2013 to unanimously approve cease and desist, an attempt to have the appeals court rehear the case was rejected on January 14,2014 and a petition to the United States Supreme Court was denied on June 30,2014
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles north of San Francisco and it protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest, due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog is vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during droughty seasons, the monument is cool and moist year round with average daytime temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is heavy during the winter and summers are almost completely dry with the exception of fog drip caused by the fog passing through the trees.
Annual precipitation in the ranges from 39.4 inches in the lower valley to 47.2 inches higher up in the mountain slopes. The redwoods grow on brown humus-rich loam which may be gravelly and this soil has been assigned to the Centissima series, which is always found on sloping ground. It is well drained, moderately deep, and slightly to moderately acidic and it has developed from a mélange in the Franciscan Formation. More open areas of the park have shallow gravelly loam of the Barnabe series, one hundred and fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down, just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
He and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. In 1907, a company in nearby Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek. When Kent objected to the plan, the company threatened to use eminent domain. Kent sidestepped the water companys plot by donating 295 acres of the redwood forest to the federal government, on January 9,1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual. President Roosevelt agreed, writing back, MY DEAR MR, responding to some photographs of Muir Woods that Mr. Kent had sent him, Those are awfully good photos. Kent and Muir had become friends over shared views of wilderness preservation, in December 1928, the Kent Memorial was erected at the Kent Tree in Fern Canyon
Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
The golden eagle is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle, like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. These birds are brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their napes. Immature eagles of this typically have white on the tail. Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, Golden eagles maintain home ranges or territories that may be as large as 200 km2. They build large nests in high places to which they may return for several breeding years, most breeding activities take place in the spring, they are monogamous and may remain together for several years or possibly for life. Females lay up to four eggs, and incubate them for six weeks, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months. These juvenile golden eagles usually attain full independence in the fall, once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many areas which are now more heavily populated by humans.
It is the largest and least populous of the five species of true accipitrid to occur as a species in both the Palearctic and the Nearctic. Due to its prowess, the golden eagle is regarded with great mystic reverence in some ancient. The golden eagle is one of the most extensively studied species of raptor in the world in some parts of its range, such as the Western United States and the Western Palearctic. The golden eagle is a large, dark brown raptor with broad wings, ranging from 66 to 102 cm in length. This species wingspan is the fifth largest amongst extant eagle species, in the largest race males and females weigh typically 4.05 kg and 6.35 kg. In the smallest subspecies, A. c. japonica, males weigh 2.5 kg, in the species overall, males may average around 3.6 kg and females around 5.1 kg. The maximum size of species is a matter of some debate. Large races are the heaviest representatives of the Aquila genus and this species is on average the seventh-heaviest living eagle species, the golden eagle ranks as the second heaviest breeding eagle in North America and Africa but the fourth heaviest in Asia.
For some time, the largest known mass authenticated for a female was the specimen from the nominate race which weighed around 6.7 kg. No comprehensive range of weights are known for the largest subspecies, captive birds have been measured up to a wingspan of 2.81 m and a mass of 12.1 kg, respectively
Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31,1994 with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress, previously, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. At 1,600,000 acres, it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States. Natural features include the Kelso Dunes, the Marl Mountains and the Cima Dome, as well as volcanic formations such as Hole-in-the-Wall, the preserve encloses Providence Mountains State Recreation Area and Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve, which are both managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Impressive Joshua Tree forests cover parts of the preserve, the Cima Dome and Shadow Valley forests are the largest in the world. The defunct railroad depot and ghost town of Kelso are found there, the depot is now the visitor center.
The preserve is commonly traversed by 4 wheel drive vehicles traveling on the historic Mojave Road, summer temperatures average 90 °F, with highs exceeding 105 °F. Elevations in the Preserve range from 7,929 feet at Clark Mountain to 880 feet near Baker. Annual precipitation varies from 3.37 inches near Baker, to almost 9 inches in the mountains, at least 25% of precipitation comes from summer thunderstorms. Snow is often found in the mountains during the winter, the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 designated a wilderness area within Mojave National Preserve of approximately 695,200 acres. The National Park Service manages the wilderness in accordance with the Wilderness Act, the CDPA, the following climate data is for a higher elevation area in the preserve. See Climate of the Mojave Desert, Mojave Memorial Cross Official website Photo tour of Mojave National Preserve - from USGS
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne and Madera counties in Northern California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, on average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness, Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has a range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones, chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone. Of Californias 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada, there is suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.
The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks, about 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, about one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode, the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name Yosemite originally referred to the name of a tribe which was driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion. Before the area was called Ahwahnee by indigenous people, as revealed by archeological finds, the Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahneechee, meaning dwellers in Ahwahnee and they are related to the Northern Paiute and Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, a major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today, acorns were a staple to their diet, as well as seeds and plants, salmon. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance and he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley, attached to Savages unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya, Bunnell wrote that Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Pai-Ute Colony of Ah-wah-nee
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Californias Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles. Long before the first incarcerees arrived in March 1942, Manzanar was home to Native Americans and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in 1910, but abandoned the town by 1929 after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. As different as these groups were, their histories displayed a common thread of forced relocation, the primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site interprets the former town of Manzanar, the days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute. Let us review the main points of the debate, over 120,000 residents of the U. S. A. two thirds of whom were American citizens, were incarcerated under armed guard. There were no crimes committed, no trials, and no convictions, to detain American citizens in a site under armed guard surely constitutes a concentration camp.
But what were the used by the government officials who were involved in the process. Raymond Okamura provides us with a detailed list of terms, lets consider three such euphemisms, evacuation and non-aliens. Earthquake and flood victims are evacuated and relocated, the words refer to moving people in order to rescue and protect them from danger. The official government policy makers consistently used evacuation to refer to the removal of the Japanese Americans. These are euphemisms as the terms do not imply forced removal nor incarceration in enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Hirabayashi went on to describe the harm done by the use of such euphemisms, the harm in continuing to use the governments euphemisms is that it disguises or softens the reality which subsequently has been legally recognized as a grave error. The actions abrogated some fundamental principles underlying the Constitution, the document under which we govern ourselves. This erosion of fundamental rights has consequences for all citizens of our society, some have argued that the Nazi Germany camps during the Holocaust were concentration camps and to refer to the Japanese American camps likewise would be an affront to the Jews.
It is certainly true that the Japanese Americans did not suffer the fate of the Jews in the terrible concentration camps or death camps where Nazi Germany practiced a policy of genocide. Although the loss of life was minimal in Americas concentration camps and Walter Weglyns research concerning Nazi Germanys euphemisms for their concentration camps revealed such phrases as protective custody camps, reception centers, and transit camps. Ironically, two Nazi euphemisms were identical to our governments usage, assembly centers and relocation centers and it might be well to point out, that the Nazis were not operating under the U. S. Constitution. Comparisons usually neglect to point out that Hitler was operating under the rules of the Third Reich