1908 – JSA to Edward R. O’Malley (NY Attorney General); re: the Benson Track; Forestry – Seth and Dan Wadsworth

Dear Sir:
I am confined to office work and therefore belong to the large class who are vitally interested in the preservation of the State forests.  I recently made one of my numerous trips through the Benson track on skees and I found shelter in Mr. Seth Wadsworth’s camp and read your letter of December 8th and Mr. S. McDonald’s letter of January 7th asking damage for cutting of 28 trees supposed to be used for firewood in connection with the sugar bush.

I cannot believe that you fully appreciate the local conditions and I am taking the liberty of writing you my point of view, more in the behalf of those that go in this section, than of Mr. Wadsworth, since he and his aged father have for several years kept the trails open and made it possible for us to visit this section at all time of the year.  If any trees were cut in this immediate locality they would be scrub timber since this section has been thoroughly lumbered and as this clearing is the only one for several miles it is of particular value in fighting fire as well as to the average camper and could be made larger to advantage and if extended west.

The only trails of any value in this section have been cut open by this man and his father and a number of fires have been put out by them for which they have never made a claim of the state and while I have my own equipment and do not patronize their camps very much, at the same time I feel very much indebted to them and am very sorry to find this contemplated suit.  This section being so available to campers in this vicinity is for that reason of particular value and rather than antagonize this party it would be particularly beneficial if some arrangements could be made to obtain their co-operation in preserving this section.  The son was located on Cat Mountain as fire warden for the state last Fall and I know from personal visits in this section that he did excellent work.