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Precede FARGO, N.D. Rand McNally Omits North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma From New Atlas

October 7, 1989 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma were left out of Rand McNally’s newly published world atlas, and Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon is not the least amused.

Bellmon’s spokesman, Sam Armstrong, issued a memo the governor planned to send to Rand McNally from ″3.3 million citizens of the great state of Oklahoma.″

″We are mystified,″ Bellmon says in the memo. ″Did you intend an insult or are you trying to say that Oklahoma is so well-known that travelers need no map to get here? The latter seems more likely.

″We do not need your incomplete atlas,″ Bellmon said. ″You won’t get our business.″

Rand McNally officials said the three states were omitted from the new atlas’ regional maps and photographs because of space limitations.

″It was an editorial decision,″ said Con Erickson, a public relations representative in Rand McNally’s Skokie, Ill., office.

The $34.95 Rand McNally Photographic World Atlas hits newstands and bookstores this month.

North Dakota’s tourism director said he’s not especially troubled by the omission.

″It sounds to me like this is an upscale book for the world traveler, who, frankly, may or may not be interested in the Great Plains region,″ Tourism Director James Fuglie said Thursday. ″It’s a coffee table book. It’s not like we missed the road atlas.″

The atlas, which features brilliantly colored photographs of various regions of the world, breaks the United States down into seven regions: Northeast, Great Lakes, Southeast, Mississippi Valley, Southern Rocky Mountains, Northwest and California and Nevada.

Photos from those seven regions are included, and accompanying maps show at least a portion of 47 states.

Bonnie Ryan, a Rand McNally public relations representative, said the omission was not intended as an affront to the three states.

″They did include several regions of the United States and their portfolios, just kind of touching upon various places,″ she said. ″Now that this has come up, they realize this was not a good idea, and they really should include the entire U.S.

″In any case, I have been told that when they go back to print next year, they’re planning changes which include adding more maps to the U.S.,″ Ryan said.

Fuglie said Rand McNally’s concern is selling books and it is natural that the company would want to concentrate on areas of the United States that are particularly attractive to world travelers, such as the East and West coasts and the South.

But he added, ″If this was a book designed to reach ... the markets that we seek tourists from, I would be very concerned.″