April 16, 1930 – R. D. Moot to W. G. Howard


  • April 16, 1930 – R. D. Moot to W. G. Howard (Supt. Lands and Forests) –

Dear Mr. Howard:

Please pardon my delay in answering your letter concerning the suggestion to insert “or hereafter extended” in the 21st line of the proposed constitutional amendment, Hewitt S-568. The proposed change does not remove the objection.

The proposal raises a very serious question of constitutional law as to whether constitutional protection can be given any section of the State by mere statute of the Legislature. It seems well settled that this cannot be done and for obvious reasons it should not be attempted. There must be no question as to what lands come within the constitutional protection.

It is suggested that the Legislature at some future time might establish a blue line surrounding lands which should have constitutional protection. For the past thirty years the Legislature has failed to do so. The present Legislature is either unable or unwilling to do so and there is no reason for assuming that some future Legislature will do so. On the contrary, experience with the blue line in the past has demonstrate that no satisfactory blue line can be expected through legislative enactment.

The proposed constitutional amendment is neither necessary nor desirable in carrying out your commendable reforestation program under existing statutes as as I have told you it would seem unfortunate to have your work jeopardized by tying it to the proposed attempt to change the Constitution.

Very Truly yours,

  1. D. Moot