The Interior Department has developed a rather unusual Christmas catalogue this year for businesses and park lovers -- all of the items in it are potential gifts for the National Park Service.
Contributions are requested for such items as chain saws ($300 each), trees ($100 each), special programs, such as an Indian powwow ($3,000) and recreational facilities such as an amphitheater ($5,000).
The catalogue was the brainstorm of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which has been hit hard by federal budget cuts. When Interior Secretary James G. Watt heard about it, he ordered similar gift catalogues prepared for most of the other national parks. So far, the agency has mailed 6,200 of the catalogues.
"It fits nicely with his philosophy of involving the private sector in government, relieving some of the burden on the taxpayer," said Duncan Morrow, an agency spokesman.
Contributors are asked to either give cash or donate the item itself. The least expensive gift in the catalogue is a $5 canteen (for park visitors from the inner city who lack their own camping equipment); the most expensive is a $30,000 computer (for "storage and recovery of ecosystem data").
The Park Service already has received its first contribution: $5,000 from Chevron USA Inc. to pay for the catalogue.
FEWER ALIEN PHYSICIANS . . . Fewer and fewer hospitals are relying on foreign physicians to fill their residency training progams, the Bureau of Health Professionals said recently.
In 1976, Congress decided to limit the number of alien physicians who can train in this country because the residency program was being abused. Alien doctors were supposed to return home after their training was over, but large numbers of them were staying on, often at lower salaries than hospitals paid American doctors.
After the law was passed, several big-city hospitals said it would be impossible for them to provide adequate care to patients without using the doctors, so the Department of Health and Human Services created the Substantial Disruption Waiver Board to resolve the problem. The panel reviews hospital requests and grants waivers to those that can prove their patient care would be impaired without the additional doctors. In 1980, 64 hospitals sought waivers for 254 foreign doctors, 237 of which were given permission to practice. So far this year, the board has received applications from only 20 hospitals on behalf of 36 doctors; it approved the requests for 13 of them.
COMPUTERIZED CARDS . . . The Copyright Office at the Library of Congress recently passed a milestone by installing a computerized card-filing system. All copyright registrations issued after Jan. 1, 1978, are now available through the library's SCORPIO computer system, bringing to an end 112 years of manual filing in one of the world's oldest and largest active card catalogues. Craig D'Ooge, a library spokesman, said the copyright office doesn't have any plans to computerize its pre-1978 records. The Library's 41 million copyright registrations list literary, musical, artistic and scientific products from this country and abroad.
WHAT, ME WORRY? . . . This nation's top corporate executives are "not concerned" that the Environmental Protection Agency will "get tougher" under the Reagan administration, a survey of 104 of the Fortune 200 firms shows. The study, by T.J. Glauthier of Temple, Barker & Sloane Inc., and Ronald Fox of the Harvard Graduate School of Business, also found that top management is not worried about the "the power of local citizen groups" in environmental issues. What worries the chiefs is the "reasonableness" or "scientific basis" of environmental regulations, compliance costs and the trend toward states setting regulations, according to the study. Because of those concerns, executives are "getting involved with Congress when laws are made and changed." The executives rated the Reagan administration highly. They said they liked EPA's new "cooperative and more business-like nature."