November 10, 1936 – James A. Foote (Natl. Park Assn.) to JSA


  • November 10, 1936 – James A. Foote (National Park Association, Washington, DC) to JSA (Teviot Road, Schenectady, NY) –

Dear Mr. Apperson:

I saw Walt Williams at our hunting camp last week and he told me of the meeting of the New York State Trails Conference in Albany on Dec. 12th and asked if I could be present at this meeting. He also asked me to advise you whether of not I could make it. I am terribly sorry to say that I cannot at this time determine whether or not I will be present. The probabilities are that I will not be able to get away at that time, mush as I should like to. So I shall at this time decline with regrets your kind invitation with the hope that at the last minute I shall be able to get away.

I think you and I see eye to eye on this matter of recreational over-development in the Adirondack preserve. I fear the consequences all ready set by the development of the Van Hoevenburg trail from a foot path into a ski trail. Precedent in ninety percent in woodland despoliation, as it is in law. Both go hand in hand. Here in Washington we fight national measures with this in view. Congress will always pass a park bill, however iniquitous, if it has a precedent to refer to. The same will apply to the state’s legislature to the extent that Article 7 Section 7 will soon be a mere written page.

I am just in receipt of a letter from your secretary, Mr. Malone, asking that the National Parks Association go on record to uphold your views in this matter of New York State’s problems. Unfortunately, we are a national group favoring no particular state park – I meant to say we “have been” – and while I am trying earnestly to get my directors to jump into state park problems, I cannot yet say officially that we will be able to help in an official capacity. We will help, or I will help, through our New York State membership, which is out largest supporting group if you will let me know what you wish done.

On the other hand, I, as a member of Marshall and Yard’s Wilderness Society will turn this letter of Malone’s over to Yard and I am sure you will have there an interested organization. Meanwhile, I intend to keep plugging for an official connection between this Association and yours. I could, however, send you a general statement of our views on over development for recreational purposes in wilderness areas should you care to have it. That is the best I can do now, I would also like to have you send me an analysis of the present ski problem for my own and Marshall’s perusal and with the possibility that we may decide our state park policy time to help out and in time to print it in our December National Parks Bulletin. I can promise nothing on this score, however.

I hope to have the opportunity to meet you this winter, as I expect to be in Schenectady later on.

Meanwhile, best wishes and good luck

Ever sincerely, James A. Foote