ON February 11, by presidential proclamation, President Hoover gave the status of ‘national monument’ to Death Valley, famous in the history of California for the hardships endured by pioneer trains crossing its arid, salt-crusted waste (Science Service, Washington, D.O.). A national monument differs from a national park only in respect to grade of protection; administration is simpler, either because of difficulty of access, lack of funds to provide full national park administration, or other reasons. The area of the new monument is 1,601,800 acres, about two-thirds of the total land in the Valley, and its dryness is so great that mineral salts of several varieties form thick crusts upon the surface of the soil. Of these, the borax deposits used to be worked commercially. In spite of its dryness, Death Valley is by no means barren; more than 500 kinds of plants live there and on these subsist many animal species. Some of the notable natural features are Telescope Peak, Furnace Creek, a green valley despite its name, and Ubehebe Crater.