US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



The Journal of Geology, Vol. 56, No. 3 (May, 1948), pp. 231-234


Major Grant believes that gophers behave in one way, and we believe that they behave in another-or we admit that we do not know exactly how they behave. I have plainly stated (1947, PP. 293, 294) that our evidence is indirect; that we have not seen gophers building a giant mound; that we do not know whether mound building is a contemporary or a historic process; and that we do not know whether the stimulus for mound building is a hardpan or a high water table or both.

Our main contentions are that mounds of the Mima type occur only within the range of gophers, living or extirpated, and that only a living, adaptable force, not a physical agency, could have produced the Mima-type mounds out of widely varying materials and in widely varying environments from Mexico to Puget Sound. We note that Chapman Grant does not propose an alternative theory for the origin of the mounds.