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William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946 United States
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William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946

  • MSS Finley
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 1946

William L. Finley's papers primarily document his work as a wildlife conservationist, author, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker from about 1900 to 1940. The collection also documents the work his wife Irene Finley and photography partner Herman Bohlman. The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2014:062) is made up of correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the wildlife conservation work of William and Irene Finley. Among the topics addressed in the correspondence include: song bird protection laws in Oregon, requests to Finley for use of his photographs, the forming of an Oregon Fish and Game Commission, biological surveys conducted by Finley, legislation in California repealing meadowlark protection, and letters by Finley to various organizations regarding the presentation of one of his lectures. A highlight among the correspondence is a thank you letter from Finley to President Theodore Roosevelt for his establishment of wild bird reservations. The clippings are newspaper articles written by Irene and William Finley about encounters with wildlife, nocturnal bird sounds, and their filming of wildlife at Paulina Lake. The four articles all appeared in editions of the "Oregon Sunday Journal."

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Habits and history of the beaver

Manuscript in which the author corrects the perception that beavers are more valuable as pelts rather than members of ecological society. Extolls the idea that beavers should just be put back in the right place rather than killing them.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Destruction of fish runs in the Sandy River

Manuscript campaigning for the federal government to aid in controlling the fish resources of the Sandy River. The author states that the Fish Commission and Game Commission cannot keep up with the demand of maintaining the fish runs. Document provides a condensed history of the river.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Squaw or bear grass

Short manuscript that goes into detail about bear grass, specifically the different names it is known by as well as its uses.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Golden eagle nearly wrecks car

Manuscript recalling a collision of Mr. Echidnas and an eagle. Fortunately the bird survived and was put into the care of Dr. L. E. Hibbard. The author goes on to point out that this eagle is protected by law but sadly has been exterminated in several parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Californian interest in Oregon

Manuscript discussing the interest Californians were taking in Southern Oregon for recreation, especially in respects to angling in the Rogue, Umpqua, and Wilson rivers. The author points out that these are smaller streams and for the fishermen who depend on the rivers for their livelihood could be greatly affected by Californians' recreational fishing.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Wholesale waterfowl destruction in the Klamath Country

Manuscript discusses how the waterfowl in Klamath country are now protected from hunters by game laws. The Bureau of Reclamation destroyed areas of sanctuary for waterfowl because the demand for land for agricultural use was so high. According to Dr. C. F. Marbut from the Department of Agriculture, the soil from the land in and around the bed of the Lower Klamath Lake could not support agricultural means successfully. Instead, the area became a refuge similar to Clear Lake.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Sportsmen kill the goose that lays the golden egg

Manuscript discussing the alarming state of the decline of local animal and fish populations. The author contends that it is a combination of exhausting the local population for sport and introducing foreign populations of animals and fish to satisfy the demand for game to hunt. The document proposes that there are two points in a plan of action in order to restore native populations. The first is to enforce the laws of protection for the animals and fish, and the second is to educate in order to support wildlife resources.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Best trout stream and trout surveys

Two manuscripts are featured in this document. The first discusses how the Deschutes River is an ideal place for trout, not only for sport but for the fish to inhabit. The river benefits from the lack of silt in the water and protection from dumping pollutants. Also due to a lack of a paved road, access is limited to the area. The second manuscript discusses the importance of conducting surveys that determine what makes a place suitable for a fish to inhabit. Factors such as what are the food sources and water temperature are to be considered. The writer makes the point that one cannot gauge from mere visual observation the amount of fish in any given stream. To truly determine the population, in depth surveys must be done.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The storehouse of the red squirrel

In this manuscript we see the return of Piney the squirrel and the author observes that Piney and his fellow squirrels differ from other squirrels. They are different because unlike the other species of squirrels, they are vigilant in up keeping their supply of food. Piney took over a bird house near the author's property and it was discovered that Piney had collected one hundred and forty-six nuts. The author wonders if this store of food will be utilized and emptied by the time the birds arrive to occupy the bird house.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

California or valley quail

The subject of this manuscript is the Valley or California quail, which can be found in California, Oregon, and now Washington. The document lists the bird's call, how it defends itself against enemies, and its physical appearance. The document ends with a comparison of the bird to the mountain quail.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Murre multitudes

This manuscript describes the California murre, including a physical description and the commercialization of murre eggs.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Status of water fowl in northwestern states

The manuscript argues that the land that has been used for homesteads should be returned to the birds of the area. The land is not suitable for farming long term due to its often alkaline nature. The ill suited land distribution is contributing to the decline of duck and geese populations as well as the other native water fowl.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Muffet and Midget

Manuscript about two baby hummingbirds, focusing on the interaction between mother and offspring.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The bat, a winged mammal

An overview of bats, including diet, mating season, and appearance. A brief discussion of bat species in Oregon is included.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

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