April 8, 1930 – JSA to A. F. Saunders

  • April 8, 1930 – JSA to A. F. Saunders (Syracuse) –

My dear Saunders:

I have just finished reading your letter of the 2nd, and copy of your letter of September 26, which I received for the first time.

There are two bad bills, designed to amend the Constitution, S-2330, int. 568, permitting lumbering on State land, and bill No. A-2214, Int. 1930, allowing the Commission to build structures, cut clearings, make improvements, etc. and one good bill, No. 2368, appropriating money for the purchase of the Paradise Bay and Black Mountain land which is not likely to go through, and I hope you will be able to give it some help.

The so-called Hewitt reforestation bill, with its latest amendment, which if passed, removes from the Constitution the protection against commercial lumbering on lands that might be bought with the two million dollars now being appropriated by the same bill, in about 68% of the area now protected by the Constitution. You are quite right, the bill was cleverly drawn and the public will be easily confused. They think of the Adirondack Park as a place where they can go in the summer and not necessarily the limited area inside of the so-called blue line. We have been suffering for may years with the wrong principle, and should now divorce the commercial and non-commercial activities and bring to an end the long conflict that has existed in the state’s playground, technically known as the forest preserve. This can be done by using the proposed twenty million dollars and buying land, already reported as suitable by the reforestation commission, outside of the recreation areas. The Conservation Commission’s own report shows enough of this kind of land entirely separate from the sportsmen and recreationist’s playground to keep the reforestation crowd busy for many years to come, and I think we should work to the end of ridding the Adirondacks of all commercial lumbering activities, and thus follow the example set by the national government of keeping their parks entirely separate from their forest preserves.

Of course, the college of forestry must line up fairly well with the large wood-using industries, but nevertheless, from a plain business standpoint, it would seem very much to their interest to establish their forest on the idle lands where they do not have to maintain a conflict with the recreation people and it seems only fair that they should be encouraged to do so, by all the outdoor groups and recreation people we can educate to this point of view, before this concurrent resolution comes up again next year.

Any means or thoughts you may have on how this idea can be given to the public so that they will understand and take intelligent action, will help materially in our effort.

I would suggest that you send a telegram to Senator Charles J, Hewitt urging the passage of the Lake George bill No. 2368.

Many thanks for the interest you have shown, I am

Cordially yours,


(copy to Governor Roosevelt)