April 23, 1930 – JSA to Fred Saunders


  • April 23, 1930 – JSA to Fred Saunders –

Dear Saunders:

Your article in the press was very good, and if you can send me several copies I will appreciate it, marking on the clipping the date and paper.

The Legislature has adjourned and as I review the first chapter of our effort, it was very successful in sounding a warning to the proponents and promoters of the attack on the constitution that they must face a good fight. My associates here now agree that we should devote our time for the next few months to accumulating data on what is being done in the Adirondacks, thus preparing ourselves for a statewide educational campaign on conservation. Particularly, we propose to show that the time is right for divorcing the commercial from the non-commercial activities by establishing a commercial production forest outside the recreation areas and thus bringing to an end the long conflict between the lumber and other commercial interests and the sportsmen and recreationists. In other words, we would separate our front yard activities from our backyard activities…

In line with this, I sent two men up to secure photographs last week where large hardwood trees have been girdled to kill them to encourage the growth of the soft woods. As you know, the hardwoods cannot be floated down the streams and in many places it is not economical to bring them out. The lumber companies of course, have the right to do this owning, as they do, the trees and the land, but it is another evidence of the conflict between the sportsmen’s interest and the lumber interest. The beach0nut tree probably furnishes more food for wild life than any other tree in the Adirondacks, and many of them have taken 150 years to attain their present growth and usefulness, and should of course be acquired by the State and preserved for their usefulness rather than be a total loss.

This is only one of several items which we hope to acquire complete data on, and I am mentioning this particularly because I thought you might have contact with some member of the College of Forestry who could tell you where you could find an article written by some forester pointing out the economic advantages of killing those hardwoods. You will of course have to be on your guard in discussing this question and not make known all I have written to you on the subject.

I also want to get some references to articles in the press or reports giving the low-down on the situation which brought about the transfer of the College of Forestry from Cornell to Syracuse. We must, of course, stick very close to facts.

You are busy like myself, working for a living and cannot afford to spend too much time on this subject, but anything you might conveniently do will be very much appreciated.

By the way, I have just been informed that Dean Brown, whoever he is, expects to see me.

The foresters, of course, should naturally hesitate to differ with the state authorities or the lumber people for obvious reasons, and we should not expect much from that source.

Hoping you are enjoying good health and many thanks for your assistance, I remain

Sincerely yours,