December 19, 1936 – Raymond Torrey to A. S. Houghton


  • December 19, 1936 – Raymond H. Torrey to Mr. A. S. Houghton (Florida) –

Dear Mr. Houghton:

As the matters dealt with in this letter relate to correspondence and communications from others, as members of the Adirondack Mountain Club, and not in connection with the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, I am writing to you, about them, on my personal letterhead, nut an sending a copy to Mr. Murray for his information.

Some members of the Adirondack Mountain Club, who are strongly in favor of maintaining Section 7, Article VII, unchanged, were disturbed, not to say suspicious, at the remark of Frederick T. Kelsey, President of the club, at the ski conference in Albany, Dec. 6, called by N. W. Hicks, chairman of the ski committee of the club, suggesting that Section 7 prevents adequate development of winter sports in the state forest preserve. They were all the more suspicious, of course, because of the close connections of Kelsey and Hicks, with the Lake Placid Club, from which, and from the vicinity of which, have come most of the open or subtle attempts to weaken Section 7. I wished to obtain on Kelsey’s actual wishes and intentions, to report them in an outdoor feature, read by hikers and conservationists, etc., which I conduct in the New York Post, under the name of “The Long Brown Path.” So I wrote to Kelsey, asking him what he meant, what he wanted in the way of new winter sports developments in the forest preserve. He replied, saying that I would get a better idea of what he said, and what he proposes, when I read his complete remarks, to appear in the forthcoming issue of “High Spots,” bulletin of the Adirondack Mountain Club. This did not satisfy me, as I wanted to know sooner than that, if possible, what he and Hicks are up to, so I wrote him again, asking, more positively, what he wants, and if he is preparing any bill for introduction in the 1937 Legislature. He has replied, December 18th, as follows:

To ask me questions, in view of what I said at Albany, without having heard or read what I said, seems to me a trifle premature. Neither Mr. Hicks nor I, nor anyone officially connected with the Adirondack Mountain Club, has in mind the preparation of any legislation for the 1937 legislature. As far as the specific projects are concerned, it would seem to me that it is only fair to reserve judgment on them until such projects have been brought forward by the Conservation Department.

This seems to me again evasive, and not to exclude the possibility that some one not officially connected with the Adirondack Mountain Club may be planning legislation, which Mr. Kelsey does not wish to disclose at present. His suggestion that projects may be brought forward by the Conservation Department is disturbing, if there is any truth in it. You may of course, have other information which would make this clearer. Of course, as far as the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks is concerned, I leave it to you and to Mr. Murray to investigate this suggestion, but I am informing you of Mr. Kelsey’s statements, for whatever both of you think they may be worth.

Sincerely yours,

Raymond H. Torrey